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Hernia - How To Deal With It?

Written and reviewed by
MBBS, MS - General Surgery, Fellowship of Indian Association of Gastrointestinal Endo Surgeons (FIAGES), Fellowship of Association of Colon and Rectal Surgeons of India (FACRSI)
Proctologist, Mumbai  •  21years experience
Hernia - How To Deal With It?

A hernia occurs when any organ of the body pushes through an opening in the muscle that holds it in place. Hernias are one of the most common problems that occur in the abdomen. Hernias can also appear in groin areas, upper thighs and belly buttons. They are not life-threatening, but they don’t go away on their own.

Types of Hernia

These are some of the common types of Hernias:

● Groin hernias: They are Inguinal, Femoral or Obturator hernias. These are one of the most common types of hernia. They constitute about 70 percent of total hernias. They are more commonly found in men than in women. Femoral hernia is common in females. Inguinal hernias occur when intestine is moved through a weak spot in the lower abdominal wall.

● Umbilical hernia: This occurs in children and babies under 6 months old. This happens when their intestines bulge through their abdominal wall near the belly button. This is the only kind that goes away on its own.

● Incisional hernia: It can occur after having abdominal surgery. Hernia occurs through the defect in the suture line.

● Hiatal hernia: It occurs when part of the stomach extends up through the diaphragm into the chest cavity. These are most common in people above 50 years of age.

Causes of Hernia

The problem of Hernia occurs due to the combination of straining and muscle weakness in the body. Depending on its cause, it can grow over a short period or a long period of time. Common causes of Hernia are listed below:

● Sudden weight gain.

● Hernia may occur through the defect in the incision of previous surgery.

● It is caused when there is increased intra-abdominal pressure like in straining for urination or for passing stool.

● It may occur in pregnancy, as abdominal muscles are stretched.

● If a person is lifting heavy weight during exercise.

Symptoms of Hernia

The most common symptom is a bulge or lump in that area. Other common symptoms are listed below:

● Feel discomfort or dragging pain in the abdomen.

● Feeling of heaviness in the groin.

● Feel an aching sensation at the site of the bulge.

Swelling increases on coughing.

A person suffering from hernia might experience one or more of the above symptoms.

Treatments for Hernia

It is usually diagnosed through a physical examination. Whether or not a person needs treatment depends on the symptoms and size of the hernia. Some of the treatment modalities of hernia are listed below:

● A change in diet can effectively treat many symptoms of hiatal hernia.

● Some medications can lessen the amount of pain and reduce stomach acid, in case of hiatus hernia.

● If the hernia grows in size, then one has to go through surgery.

One can have either open or laparoscopic surgery. During surgery, after reduction of hernia surgeon needs to strengthen the weak abdominal wall. It is done by using Polypropelene Mesh. It may be a single dimensional or 3 dimensional Mesh. Let your treating surgeon decide about the treatment modality best suited for you.

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult a specialist & get answers to your questions!
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