woman experiencing tenderness in abdomen

What Is Strangulated Hernia?

October 23, 2019

Do you think you might have a hernia? This is a common condition that can include different body parts like the upper stomach, groin, and belly button. It can also be caused by stomach surgery. Like other conditions, it’s important to know the symptoms, causes, and treatments for different types like a strangulated hernia. Many people have the wrong belief that hernias are caused by heavy lifting. In fact, it results from an organ or tissue pushing into a muscular wall that’s weak or has a hole. It can actually be caused by several different actions as basic as coughing or sneezing hard. That’s right!

The strangulated type is one of the main types you have to watch out for. The reason is you’re not just dealing with a run-of-the-mill hernia. In this case, the tissue/organ is cut off from the body’s blood supply. This can cause various problems because it doesn’t get cleaned or nourished by the blood. As you might guess this is a serious condition you’ll want to avoid. In fact, it can result in a very serious situation if stuff like toxins get into your body’s bloodstream. It’s important to know the basics about this type of hernia so you’ll know what to expect and how to deal with it.

What Exactly Is a Hernia?

Before we talk about the strangulated type let’s take up hernias. They involve a tear in tissue/muscle so part of your organ or tissues stick out. This can be part of an internal organ or the intestines.

In fact, many of us have the idea that you can get a hernia from lifting. In fact, it’s technically not really the lifting itself that causes the problem. It’s pressure on the ab muscles that are caused by lifting from your torso instead of the legs.

It’s the bulge caused by this condition that’s one of the main ones of the condition. Usually, you can gently bush the bulge back in or it might do it automatically over time.

The symptoms can change throughout the day depending on the activities you do. For example, if you cough hard, lift heavy boxes, or even stand up the pain can get worse. Meanwhile, other actions like lying down can help to improve them.

Most hernias happen in the groin region. This includes “inguinal hernias” that make up 95%+ of all groin hernias. There are hernias that happen in other parts of the body including femur bone, upper stomach, and belly button.

It’s good to learn the basics of these types of hernias. It will help to determine whether or not you’ve suffered a hernia. For example, if you experience a “hernia” in abdominal areas besides the upper stomach or belly button it might be something else.

It’s also important to note that hernias can be from birth or afterward. For example, one type of hernia happens as a birth defect when the diaphragm’s development isn’t normal. This can cause an area for the stomach to push into the chest area.

The seriousness of the hernia can also vary. In some cases, surgery is needed. This happens when the stomach gets in the way of the heart/lungs.

What’s a Strangulated Hernia?

As the name suggests this is a very serious type of hernia. That’s because the affected area isn’t getting any blood flow. This results in the damaged tissue causing infections or toxins in the bloodstream, which can cause a world of trouble.

A similar condition is called an incarcerated hernia. In this case, the “jailed” tissue is unable to move. The main difference is the tissue/organ can still get blood flow. However, it’s also easy for this type of hernia to get worse and become the strangulated type.

This very serious type causes bulges you can see in the groin or abdomen area. This is a clear sign that the person is suffering from a hernia. There are other possible symptoms including:

  • Red/dark skin over hernia
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Faster heart rate
  • Fever
  • Pain that becomes worse
  • Tenderness around hernia
  • Constipation
  • Fatigue

If you experience any of these symptoms you should contact your doctor immediately. That’s because this condition is so serious. It’s always a problem when certain body parts can’t access blood for nutrients and filtering.

What causes a strangulated-type hernia? It’s very similar to an incarcerated hernia. The main difference is when the blood supply is cut off it’s very serious. In fact, this situation causes a medical emergency and can become life-threatening.

How do you get a strangulated hernia? This can happen at birth, although you might get it later in life. These hernias can happen if the muscle tissue located in the ab muscles weaken. This can cause a situation where folds of tissue might get through the muscle tissue.

There are various risk factors. They include ab surgery in the past, heavy coughing, heavy lifting, and pregnancy. If you’re in 1+ of these groups then there’s a greater chance you might experience this very serious type of hernia.

Always keep in mind this condition is a medical emergency.

Diagnosis, Treatment, and Complications

If you suffer from strangulated-type hernias then you have various treatment options. This type of hernia is often diagnosed in the emergency room. In fact, it might be difficult to detect based on the symptoms described by the patient.

Doctors use different methods for diagnosing this type of hernia including ultrasound and other imaging tests. This test is run to determine if the patient’s bowels are blocked by the hernia.

If a person gets a diagnosis for this type of hernia it’s important to get medical treatment ASAP. This can help to prevent serious damage to the affected tissues and the body itself.

The surgery to treat strangulated-type hernias uses two stages:

Stage one

The first stage involves putting pressure on the area to push back trapped tissues so they’ll return tot heir cavity. This must be done quickly so permanent damage is avoided. Damaged tissue is then removed.

Stage two

In this stage, the surgeon then fixes the area that was damaged by the hernia pushing through it. If it’s a big hernia then the doctor might use a tissue or surgical mesh to add extra support. If the hernia is small then stitches might be enough.

Sometimes there are complications involved with this serious type of hernia. However, it’s usually caused by not getting treatment early.

This situation is critical because the tissue isn’t getting any blood supply. This causes the release of bacteria and toxins into the bloodstream, which can cause very serious problems including blood infections.

The surgery itself might also cause some complications. Your doctor can discuss these with you so you’ll get the best results from a surgery to treat the condition.

Finally, recovery from surgery can take a while. In fact, the patient might need to spend some time in the hospital to recover from their surgery for a strangulated hernia.