Inguinal Hernia

What is Inguinal Hernia? Signs, Causes and Treatment

May 13, 2020

With today’s hectic lifestyle and busy work schedules, people are looking for ways to improve their overall health. Individuals will usually look for ways to improve their general condition through increased physical activity, consumption of healthy food items and the use of more natural and alternative treatment options for various illnesses. People, however, also look for ways to avoid certain health conditions may greatly and adversely affect their quality of life and health. One such medical condition is known as an inguinal hernia. People may want to know though, what are the signs, causes and treatment options for an inguinal hernia. In this article, we will first look at some of the basic facts on hernia and the signs, causes, and treatment options for inguinal hernia.

Hernias: A Brief Overview

Hernias are medical problems that are considered fairly common and are also known to 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.

What are the 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.

What Are The 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 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

What Is An Inguinal Hernia?

Earlier in the article, general information and data on hernias were presented. But what exactly is an inguinal hernia? Inguinal hernias are actually the most common form of hernia and can make up about seventy percent (70%) of hernia cases. This is according to the BHC or the British Hernia Center. This kind of hernias happens when intestines penetrate through the walls of the abdomen and into either the left or right inguinal canal. This type of hernia, then, will usually be observed in and around the area of the groin.

What Are Some Of The Signs Of An Inguinal Hernia?

Some of the more common signs of hernias were already presented earlier in the article. Listed below, however, are some of the more specific signs of an inguinal hernia:

  1. Bulging in the pubic area
  2. Swollen scrotum
  3. Full or heavy feeling in the groin
  4. Pain that is sharp
  5. Burning sensations
  6. Pain when bending over, exercising, and coughing

What are the causes and treatment options for Inguinal Hernia?

Some of the causes of inguinal hernia are chronic constipation, chronic cough, cystic fibrosis, pregnancy, obesity and being overweight, a birth that is premature, and heredity. Some treatment options available for patients with hernia are include laparoscopic inguinal herniorrhaphy or open inguinal herniorrhaphy. Both are considered hernia repair surgery to specifically treat the said medical condition.