A hernia occurs when an organ or fatty tissue pushes through a weak spot in the muscle or tissue wall that holds it in place. A hernia mostly develops in between the chest and hips but can appear in the upper thigh or groin area as well. It all depends on the type of hernia you develop. It isn’t a life-threatening condition but in some cases, you will require surgery. Let’s understand the different types of hernia, treatment options and everything else in between.
Types of Hernia
● Inguinal Hernia: This is one of the most common types of hernia that more commonly occurs in men than women. In this type of hernia, the intestines push through a weak spot in the lower abdominal wall, often in the inguinal canal. In men, the inguinal canal is found in the groin area, where the spermatic cord passes through. This cord attaches to the testicles. On the other hand, in women, the inguinal canal contains a ligament that is responsible for holding the uterus in place.
● Hiatal Hernia: This type of hernia occurs when part of the stomach protrudes up through the diaphragm into the chest cavity. Hiatal hernia usually develops in people over 50 years of age. In most cases, it causes Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease. Causing the stomach contents to flow backwards into the oesophagus, causing a burning sensation.
● Umbilical Hernia: It is a very common type of hernia among children and babies. It occurs when the intestines bulge through the abdomen near the belly button. You might be able to notice the bulge only when your little one is crying. This type of hernia would normally go away on its own, but if it doesn’t, you should consult a doctor for surgery.
● Ventral Hernia: When the tissues bulge through an opening in your abdomen it is known as a ventral hernia. You will notice the bulge reduces in size when you lie down. There is a possibility that this type of hernia can be present since birth and only appears later on in your life. However, there is nothing concerning, and it can be treated.
● Incisional Hernia: If you have had surgery, there are high chances of you developing an incisional hernia. It occurs when the intestines push through the incision scar or part of the wound that is healed. It most commonly occurs in people who are overweight or the elderly.
What are the treatment options?
There are a few surgery options available. Which type of treatments your doctor will suggest for you, totally depends on the type of hernia and where it is located.
Open Surgery: In this type of surgery the surgeon will push back the displaced organ or the fat tissue into the abdomen. They will fix the weakened area with dissolvable stitches and a mesh patch. The mesh will give the weakened area extra support it needs to stay in place and to avoid any recurrence.
Laparoscopic Surgery: This is a minimally invasive procedure that is conducted with a laparoscope (a thin tube with a video camera attached to the end of it). During this procedure, you will be given general or local anaesthesia. After which, the surgeon will make a few tiny incisions in your lower abdomen. The laparoscope will be inserted through these cuts, which will guide the surgeon to perform the surgery. This is a perfectly safe procedure and allows you to get back to your routine in a few weeks.
What causes a hernia to occur?
Wondering what causes the tissues to get weak that leads to a hernia? Mentioned below is a list of common causes of developing a hernia.
● Rigorous workouts
● Chronic coughing
What are the risk factors?
There are a few factors that can increase the chances of you getting a hernia. Keep a check on these risk factors to reduce the chances of getting a hernia.
● Being overweight or obese
● Family history
● Chronic constipation
● Cystic fibrosis
What are the symptoms you should look out for?
There are different types of hernias, and the symptoms might differ from each other. The most common symptom of a hernia is a bulge in the area. For instance, the common symptoms for an incisional, Inguinal and umbilical hernia are:
● Swelling beneath the skin of the abdomen or groin, which become less obvious when you lie down
● Feeling sore
● Discomfort while doing a few activities like coughing or lifting weights
● Blood in the stool
● In babies, you will notice the bulge only when they are crying
Some of the symptoms of Hiatal Hernia are:
● Abdominal pain
● Acid reflux
● Chest pain
So if you notice any of the following symptoms, don’t panic and consult a hernia specialist in Bangalore at Smiles Gastroenterology.