What is a hernia?
A hernia happens when an organ squeezes through the muscle or tissue that holds it in place. It may result in abdominal and groin-localized bulges.
Some hernias are pain-free and can even be harmless. There are some cases, however, when these hernias can bring about pain and discomfort. Some quick information about hernias are listed below but a more detailed look into incarcerated hernia will be done later on in the article:
- Hernia surgery is usually more common for children and for older adults. However, a specific hernia known as femoral hernia may present patients with an increased risk of surgery throughout their lives.
- Treatment options for hernia usually come in two choices which are corrective surgery and watchful waiting. Surgery for hernias will usually be done through a keyhole or open operation.
- Hernias are relatively simple to diagnose for healthcare professionals as they simply have to look or identify the patient’s hernia bulge.
- Hernias will often not have any types of symptoms that are considered troublesome. Patients with abdominal issues may have some other serious underlying condition that needs to be further evaluated by a medical professional.
But what is a hernia? This medical condition happens due to a hole or a weakness in the wall of muscles that keeps the organs in the abdomen in their place. This hole or weakness can permit tissues and organs to penetrate the walls of the muscles resulting in herniation or the production of a bulge. This bulge can sometimes disappear when the patient lies down and can even be pushed back into its appropriate spot. However, there are instances when a cough can make the lump or the bulge reappear.
Types of Hernias
There are different types of hernias and they are classified based on where they are located or where they appear. Enumerated below are some of these types of hernias:
- Surgical Scars: A surgery on the abdomen may have an incision that can lead to a hernia
- Belly button: This region may have a bulge due to a periumbilical and umbilical hernia
- The Stomach’s Upper Part: A hernia that is considered hiatal is a type of hernia caused by the stomach’s upper portion that pushes out of the abdomen moving into the chest through a gap in the diaphragm.
- Groin: Hernia of the groin is also known as a femoral hernia and will usually present itself with a lump just below the area of the groin. This type of hernia is more commonly diagnosed in women. On the other hand, men will more likely have an inguinal hernia which can affect the scrotum due to a groin bulge or hernia.
Most Common Causes of Hernias
Aside from the hernia caused by a surgical incision, most hernias will almost have no clear reason for its occurrence. As people grow older, the risk of developing some form of hernia also increases. Hernias have also been generally observed to occur more commonly in male patients than in female individuals. Hernias can also be present at birth or congenital or it can be contracted by children especially if they have abdominal walls that are weak.
Some of the medical issues and certain activities that can cause or lead to the hernia are listed below:
|Testicles that are undescended||Physical exertion|
|Smoking cigarettes||Nutrition that is poor|
|Peritoneal dialysis||Lifting heavy objects|
|Fluids in the abdomen||Obesity and being overweight|
|Straining during urination||Enlarged prostate|
|Cystic fibrosis||Coughing that is persistent|
|Toilet straining especially when constipated|
Who Are at Risk for Hernia?
There are some variables that can increase an individual’s risk of developing a hernia. These include the following risk factors:
- A family or personal history for developing hernias
- Old age
- Obesity and being overweight
- Chronic coughing
- Cigarette smoking which can also lead to chronic coughing and weakened lungs
Types of Surgery for Hernia Repair
Surgery for hernia repair is also known as herniorrhaphy which involves returning tissues that were displaced back into their correct location. The different types of surgery for hernia repair are classified as follows:
Tissue Repair Surgery or Herniorrhaphy
This type of hernia surgery is also the oldest form of hernia repair procedure and is currently still in use by the medical field. It entails having the medical professional, particularly a surgeon, to make an incision over the herniated tissue or muscles and utilizing specialized tools to gain access to the said hernia. The displaced organs or tissues are then placed back into their right location or area. In addition, the sac of the hernia will also be removed for this procedure.
Mesh Repair or Hernioplasty
Hernioplasty will have a medical professional or a surgeon covering the cut or incised muscle using a sterile mesh instead of stitching it shut. The said mesh will usually be made from animal tissue or polypropylene, a form of flexible plastic. The doctor will perform small incisions around the affected area making sure that it matches the shape of the mesh to be used. With the mesh in place, it is expected to help the weakened and damaged tissue and help to strengthen or support the surrounding tissues while they are regrowing.