A hernia is a medical condition in which an organ pushes through a void in muscle or tissue holding it in place. Usually, Hernia occurs in the abdomen area, but they can also impact the groin, upper thigh, and belly button. Hernia targets a weakness in the surrounding tissue and muscles called fascia. Not only organs but fatty tissues can also push around the muscle and cause a hernia. All hernias occur when an organ or tissue exerts excessive pressure onto a weak sport in muscle or tissue and pushes through it.
Hernias are of several types, the most common ones have been discussed further below:
An inguinal Hernia – Around 96% of affected patients suffer from this type hernia. In this medical condition, the bladder pushes through the abdominal wall and into the inguinal canal, which is situated in the groin.
An Incisional Hernia – Elderly people or people who have gained excess weight and remain inactive following an abdominal surgery usually suffer from this condition as the intestine protrudes through the site of a previous surgery.
A femoral Hernia – It is most common in obese or pregnant women, the intestine protrudes into the canal encasing the femoral artery in the upper thigh.
An umbilical Hernia– In this condition the small intestine pushes through the abdominal wall surrounding the navel, this is most common in newborn but can also affect obese women or the ones who have gone through multiple pregnancies.
A Hiatal Hernia – This occurs when the stomach protrudes into the opening in the diaphragm through which the esophagus passes, this opening is called the hiatus, hence the name.
Symptoms of Hernia
The most common symptom of a hernia is a protrusion or bulge in the affected area. Other indications are pain or uneasiness in the affected area, aching sensation in a bulged out area or weakness in the abdominal area. Other symptoms include acid reflux, chest pain, and difficulty in swallowing. Sometimes there are no symptoms and hernia is found only when the patient goes for a regular physical checkup.
Most hernias are detected during regular physical checkups but for a hiatal hernia, one might need an X-ray or endoscopy. For newborns and children, a doctor may record an ultrasound.
Treatment course depends on the severity and size of a hernia in a particular patient. A hernia is first observed by the medic to study possible complications. A hernia can be treated by bringing a change in your lifestyle, medication and as a last resort by surgery.
- Change in lifestyle
These changes can only help alleviate pain and treat the symptom to an extent but can’t make it go away. Exercise can help strengthen the affected tissue and dietary changes help treat the symptoms. One should avoid taking heavy meals and should not bend over after eating. If even after making improvements to your lifestyle the symptoms don’t go away you may need a surgery.
Antacids and other over the counter prescriptions can reduce a patient’s stomach acid and treat your symptoms.
Types of Hernia Surgery
The doctor can remove the affected hernia in one of two ways. Both the process is done at a hospital or at a surgery center. In many cases, the patient is discharged the same day of the surgery.
Just before the operation, you’ll receive local or spinal anesthesia (anesthesia is utilized to numb the lower part of your body) Or you may receive general anesthesia (you’ll be asleep during the procedure).
The surgeon makes an incision to open your skin. He’ll gently push the affected hernia back into its place, tie it off or might need to eliminate it. Then he’ll close the frail area of the muscle where a hernia pushed through with stitches. For the larger (in shape) hernias, your surgeon may attach a piece of flexible skin for extra support which helps keep a hernia from coming back.
Open Hernia Surgery Recovery: Most patients who have open hernia surgery are able to go home the same day of the surgery, it might take 3 weeks for the patient to get fully recovered and be being able to follow his normal schedule.
During the process, your abdomen is inflated with an innocuous gas. This gives the surgeon a better look of your internal organs. He further will make a few minute incisions near the affected hernia, then he will insert a laparoscope ( a thin tube with a tiny camera at the end). The surgeon uses images from the laparoscope as a guide to fix a hernia with mesh. For this surgery, you’ll be given general anesthesia.
Laparoscopic Hernia surgery Recovery: Patients usually recover faster after a laparoscopic surgery, On average patients are back to their normal routine within a week.
What kind of surgery you’ll have to go through often depends on the size of your hernia, location, and type. The doctor will also consider your health, the lifestyle you’ve been following and age.
Hernia Surgery Risks
This type of operation is considered very safe. But like all surgeries, having your hernia removed from the body comes with a number of possible complications. Which include:
Infection: Possibility of a mesh-cognate infection occurring weeks or even years after the patient goes through hernia repair surgery, it should be considered in any patient with fever or symptoms or inflammation of the abdominal wall following the surgery.
- Pain: In most cases, the area will be sore as you recover. But some people develop chronic, perennial pain after surgery for a groin hernia.
- Blood clots: These can develop because you’re under anesthesia and your body doesn’t move for a very long period of time.
- Recurrence: A hernia could come back even after the surgery. Research shows that utilizing mesh can reduce the risk by half.
- Nerve damage: Your staples or stitches may provide pressure on a nerve or a nerve might get trapped during the procedure. If you feel tingling pain or sharp you have to inform it to your doctor as soon as possible, you may need to go through another surgery.