It is believed that about 27% of all males and 3% of females can have a hernia during their lifetime. Factors like obesity, pregnancy, smoking, chronic lung disease aggravate the severity of the hernia.
What causes it?
When an organ residing in a cavity such as the abdomen tries to push through the muscular layer it resides in, it is called as hernia. Though said to be genetic, hernias can be caused by things such as improper heavy lifting, incorrect posture, or chronic constipation and as a result of surgical complication or injury.
Types of Hernia
Hernia can be an Inguinal Hernia, Umbilical Hernia, Hiatal Hernia or Femoral Hernia. It can also originate from an incision (Incisional Hernia).The Inguinal Hernia is commonly observed in males. Here, the intestine squeezes through a tear in the abdominal wall into the groin (Inguinal canal). At times, the small intestine bulges through the abdominal wall (weak spot) near the belly button, which results in Umbilical Hernia. In Hiatal Hernia, the upper part of the stomach passes into the chest through the diaphragm, and of all the hernia types, the Inguinal Hernia is the most common.
Treatment of Hernia
In case of Hernia, the affected area tends to protrude or bulge out. If left untreated; Hernia can prove to be detrimental. One needs to consult a physician for proper diagnosis and treatment.
Physical examination can help in the diagnosis of Inguinal Hernia. An ultrasound is needed to diagnose Umbilical Hernia. A Barium X -ray or endoscopy can be of great help in the diagnosis of Hiatal Hernia.The severity of the Hernia depends upon its size. In case the Hernia is rapidly increasing in size, a surgery is needed for the repair.
The surgery performed can be open or laparoscopic. In open surgery, Hernia is identified through an incision. Once located, the Hernia is removed from the adjacent tissues. In laparoscopic repair, small incisions are made in the affected region. Through these incisions, specialized instruments are inserted. It is through these instruments that the surgeon visualizes and performs the surgery.In such repairs, a mesh, held in place by sutures is used as a scaffold. This facilitates the growth of new tissues in the affected person. This technique significantly lowers the chance of a recurrence.