Define Incarcerated

Incarcerated: A Medical Definition

July 22, 2019

When we hear the term “incarceration” we tend to think it refers to going to jail. However, there’s also a medical condition that’s used to define incarcerated. This involves a part of the body that’s in “prison.” One example is an incarcerated hernia. This happens when herniated tissue isn’t able to move. In some cases it can’t get blood later, which is a very serious condition that should be treated immediately. A hernia itself is quite common. It results in a bulge that happens in the stomach or groin. In fact, this condition often causes no pain and is quite harmless. However, in other situations, it can cause aches and pains.

Incarcerated and “strangulated” hernias are various serious situations. The tissue becomes trapped in incarcerated hernias. If it becomes strangulated it can’t get blood and might release stuff like toxins into the person’s bloodstream. That, in turn, can cause serious health problems. In fact, this is much more serious than an ordinary hernia and can become life-threatening. It’s important to note that any hernia can become incarcerated. It’s worse if the abdomen’s tissue and intestines don’t get blood, which is a major issue. This condition usually causes serious symptoms and needs medical treatment ASAP. In fact, you should even take this step if you think you have a basic hernia.


What Is a Hernia?

It’s important to note that any hernia can become an incarcerated one. Hernias themselves are quite common. They result in a bulge in areas like the abdomen or groin. In many cases, the hernias are pain-free and don’t cause any damage. However, that’s not always the case. Sometimes they can cause pain and discomfort.

If you have a hernia it might not have any serious symptoms. However, you might experience major problems if you have abdominal hernias.

It’s also quite easy to diagnose hernias. It’s just a matter of finding the tissues that produce a bulge. There are also different kinds of treatments like medicine, surgery, and “watchful waiting.”

Let’s get to the nitty-gritty of hernias. This happens when a muscular wall in the stomach gets weak or has a hole. This wall is important because it helps to keep the stomach’s muscles in the right place.

What happens is the problem in the wall causes tissues/organs to push through in a process called “herniating.” That, in turn, causes a bulge.

The hernia might come and go during the day. For example, if you cough or lift something heavy the bulge might appear. Then it might disappear if you lie down.


Kinds of Hernia

Upper stomach

This happens when the stomach’s upper part pushes out of the stomach cavity into the chest cavity. This happens through a hole in the diaphragm muscle that separates the chest and abdomen.

Belly button

There can be a bulge in this area that’s caused by a certain kind of hernias in the region.


This causes a bulge a little under the groin. One type is more common in women while another is more common in men.

Another cause of hernias is abdominal surgeries from the past.


How to Define Incarcerated Hernia

Then there’s an incarcerated hernia. What’s it all about? This is a more serious hernia because the tissue is in “prison” and cannot move.

This could become a “strangulated” hernia because it’s cut off from a blood supply. In fact, it’s quite easy for this situation to happen.

If this happens it can result in various problems if infections and toxins get into the bloodstream. This condition is a medical emergency. So, it’s very important to take steps to maintain blood supply to the incarcerated hernia so the situation doesn’t become worse and more dangerous.

This condition causes various symptoms including:

  1. Fatigue (general)
  2. Bulge in ab/pelvis region
  3. Nausea
  4. Fever
  5. Fast heart rate
  6. Vomiting
  7. Burning feeling
  8. Major constipation
  9. Sudden severe pain
  10. Skin inflammation

If you experience 1+ of these symptoms it’s important to get it checked out immediately. It could be a sign of a serious health condition that should be treated ASAP.

If you don’t get treatment soon it could result in more problems. That’s because it could cause serious damage to the body’s issues.

When you have surgery for incarcerated hernia there are two stages. In the first one, the surgeon must reduce the hernia’s size. The pressure is put on the hernia in order to push back trapped tissues so they get back into the ab cavity. This process is done quickly to prevent permanent damage to tissues.

Next, the surgeons then remove any tissues that have been damaged due to the hernia.  The surgeon then fixes the weak muscle where a hernia has pushed through.

The hernia’s size affects the procedure used. If it’s small then the surgeon might be able to complete this process using stitches. In the case of big hernias, the surgeon might have to add surgical mesh/tissue to add extra support. This will help to prevent the hernia from coming back.


How to Prevent Hernias

If you want to prevent hernias including incarcerated ones here are some helpful tips:

Quit smoking

While it’s generally unhealthy from the get-go it’s the coughing that can put pressure on abs and could turn a regular hernia into an incarcerated one.

Exercise more

If you’re physically active through manual labor or gym workouts it might help to prevent hernias based on studies. Some good exercises include crunches, jogging, cycling, Pilates, and yoga.

Meanwhile, there are certain exercises you should avoid. They include squats and jumping exercises. That’s because they can put extra pressure on the abdominal wall. You can also tear muscles by fast movements.

Eat healthy food

Eating more fiber is one of the most important steps to take in terms of eating anti-hernia foods. Fiber can help prevent constipation which can result in strains that boost your hernia risk.

Here are some foods you should consider adding to your diet:

  1. Vegetables
  2. Fruits
  3. Beans
  4. Whole grains
  5. Nuts
  6. Seeds

If you still have constipation problems you have other options. They include different OTC laxatives that will have fewer side-effects than prescription meds.

Avoid lifting heavy

If you have to lift heavy things make sure you use your knees to bend down. It’s important for your legs to do most of the lifting. While the core is important for many movements it’s always best to lift with your legs.

You should also avoid lifting too heavy. If you can’t lift something comfortably then don’t do it.

Maintain a healthy weight

When you’re obese/overweight this can put pressure on the abdominal wall due to the surplus body fat. This happens when you do basic actions like moving around or even standing up.

If you shed pounds and burn fat through healthy eating and exercising you can avoid the condition after you define incarnated hernias.