What is Hernia?
A hernia occurs when an organ forcefully goes through some openings in the muscle or tissue that supports it. For instance, the large and small intestines may break through a damaged area in the abdominal wall.
Most hernias occur in the abdomen region between your hips and chest, but they may also appear in the upper groin and thigh areas.
Most hernias are not often life-threatening immediately, but they do not varnish on their own. Sometimes they may require a surgical approach to prevent deadly complications.
What Are the Types of Hernias?
Common forms of hernias of the abdominal wall include the following:
- Inguinal hernia: consisting of up to 75 percent of all hernias of the abdominal wall and occurring for about twenty-five times more often in men than women, these hernias are grouped into two different forms, direct and indirect. These two happen around the groin region where the thigh joins the torso, but they have different origins. Both of these forms of hernias can likewise appear as a lump in the inguinal region. Differentiating between the indirect and direct hernia is, however, important for clinical diagnosis.
- Direct inguinal hernia: This type of hernia occurs somewhat to the inside of the spot of the indirect hernia, in a region where the abdominal wall is slightly thinner. It will rarely protrude into the scrotal sac and can trigger pain that is very difficult to differentiate from testicle pain. Dissimilar from the indirect hernia, which may surface at any age in life, the direct hernia often tends to occur around the elderly and the middle-aged folks due to the weakening of their abdominal walls as they age.
- Indirect inguinal hernia: This hernia follows the path that the testicles create at fetal development, moving down from the gut into the scrotal sac. This pathway often closes before birth but may remain a potential site for a hernia later in life. Sometimes hernia sacs may distend into the scrotal sac. An indirect hernia (inguinal canal) may show up at any age.
- Femoral hernia: Femoral canal is the only pathway through which your femoral vein, artery, and nerve move from the abdominal cavity into the thigh. Although a tight space sometimes becomes enlarged enough to let abdominal contents protrude into the canal. A femoral hernia triggers a bulge just underneath the inguinal fold in roughly the mid of the upper leg. Usually common in women, femoral hernias are basically at risk of turning irreducible (not able to return into place) and strangulated (shunting off blood supply). Not all irreducible hernias types are strangulated, but of course, all irreducible hernias must be evaluated by some health specialists.
- Umbilical hernia: These common types of hernias are often seen in a child at delivery a protrusion at the umbilicus. An umbilical hernia is often seen when an aperture in the child’s abdominal wall exists, which ought to close before delivery, does not close completely. If small, this type of hernia is expected to close gradually at age 2. Larger hernias do not close by themselves and often require a surgical approach when a child is about 4 years of age. Even if the area is blocked at birth, umbilical hernias may show up later in life due to its spot, which may remain a tender place on the abdominal wall. Umbilical hernias can show up later in life or in female folks who are gravid or who have given birth. They often do not produce abdominal pain.
- Incisional hernia: An abdominal surgery may cause a flaw in the abdominal wall. This flaw may create a region of weakness through which a hernia may arise. This appears after 2-10 percent of all abdominal surgical processes, although some folks are more exposed to risk. Even after surgical operations, incisional hernias may still return.
- Spigelian hernia: This uncommon hernia occurs around the edge of the muscle ‘rectus abdominous through the Spigelian fascia, which is some inches lateral to the abdominal mid-point.
- Obturator hernia: This is another rare abdominal hernia that occurs majorly in women. This hernia type protrudes from the pelvic cleft through the obturator foramen (an opening in the pelvic bone). This type will not indicate any bulge but may act as intestinal obstruction and cause vomiting and nausea. As a result of lack of visible bulging, this type of hernia is often very difficult to diagnose.
- Epigastric hernia: This type occurs in-between the navel and the lower region of the rib cage in the middle of the abdomen. These hernias are made up of fatty tissues and seldom contain the intestine. Developed in an area of a relative of the abdominal wall weakness, these types are often painless and usually unable to be pushed back into the abdominal cavity when first noticed.
- Hiatal hernia: This form of hernia occurs when a part of the stomach pierces through the diaphragm. This diaphragm has a small opening that allows the esophagus. This opening can also become the place where some parts of the stomach push through the diaphragm. Small Hiatal hernias may cause no symptoms (asymptomatic), while larger Hiatal hernias can cause heartburn and pain.
- Diaphragmatic hernia: This is often a birth defect triggering an opening in the diaphragm, which may allow abdominal deposits to find their way into the chest cavity.
Except for an incisional hernia (a complication of abdominal surgery), in most conditions, there is no clear reason for a hernia to occur. The risk of folk getting hernia increases with individual age and is more prominent in men than in women.
A hernia can either be congenital (at birth) or grow in children who have a weak spot in their abdominal wall.
Activities and medical issues that mount pressure on the walls of the abdominal can lead to a hernia. These activities include:
- physical exertion
- persistent cough
- straining on the toilet
- cystic fibrosis
- enlarged prostate
- straining to urinate
- abdominal fluid
- lifting heavy items
- peritoneal dialysis
- being overweight or obese
- poor nutrition
- undescended testicles
Symptoms of a Hernia
The most occurring symptom of a hernia is a lump in the affected region. For instance, in the case of a hernia of the inguinal canal, you may discover a lump on each side of your pubic bone where your thigh and groin meet.
You may feel that the lump does not appear when you are lying down. You are likely to feel hernia through touch when standing up, bending, or coughing. Pain or discomfort in the region around the lump may also be noticed.
In some cases, hernias show no symptoms. One may not know he or she has a hernia unless it comes up during a medical examination or routine physical for an unrelated problem.
How is a Hernia Treated?
Hernias do not actually heal on their own, and surgery may remain the only option to heal them. However, your doctor will suggest the best medications to address your hernia and may as well refer you to a surgeon for operations. If the doctor thinks it is imperative to heal your hernia, then the surgeon would design the method of healing that best solves your issue.
If an umbilical hernia happens in a child, surgery may be suggested if the hernia is wide or if it hasn’t healed at the age of 5 years old. By this stage, a child may avoid surgical complications.
If the umbilical hernia is diagnosed in an adult, surgery is always recommended because the complication may not likely recover on its own, and risks of complications are higher.
One among the three (3) types of hernia surgery may be performed:
- Open surgery: Where a cut is made deep into the body at the site of the hernia. The projecting tissue is put back in place, and the weak muscle wall is then stitched together. Sometimes a form of mesh is entrenched in the area to give extra support.
- Laparoscopic surgery: Involving the same form of repairs. However, in place of a cut to the outside of the groin or abdomen, some tiny incisions are made to permit the insertion of surgical types of equipment to complete the procedure.
- Robotic hernia repair: Like laparoscopic surgery, it uses a laparoscope and is done with small incisions. Using robotic surgery, the surgeon sits in the operating room and handles the surgical tools from the console. While robotic surgery is used for smaller hernias or weak parts, it can also be used to rebuild the abdominal wall.
Each form of surgery has its advantages and disadvantages. The best method of healing will be decided by the surgeon.