Understanding Hernia, Types, Causes, and Treatment

A hernia is the protrusion of organs, such as intestines, through a weakened section of the abdominal wall. If left untreated, the split in the muscle widens and greater amounts of tissue or organs are pushed through the opening, forming a sac. This visible lump or bulge is one of the key characteristics of a hernia. Though hernias most commonly occur in the abdomen, they can also appear in the belly button, upper thigh and the groin areas. Some of the common types of hernia are inguinal, incisional, femoral, umbilical, and a hiatal hernia. Hernias are not life threatening but at times may require surgery to prevent dangerous complications in the future. The blog gives an overview of different types of hernias, their causes, and possible treatment options a hernia specialist in Perth or anywhere would recommend.

Types of Hernia

Inguinal Hernia

Occurring in the groin. This is the most common form, accounting for more than nine out of 10 hernias. A loop of intestine pushes against the small ring of muscle in the groin, eventually splitting the muscle fibres apart. Inguinal hernias affect more men than women and are particularly common in middle age.

Incisional Hernia

After abdominal surgery, the site of repair will always be structurally weaker. Sometimes, the intestines can push through the closed incision, causing a hernia.

Femoral Hernia

Occurring high on the thigh, where the leg joins the body. Similar to the events that cause an inguinal hernia, intestines force their way through the weak muscle ring at the femoral canal until they protrude. This herniated section of bowel is at risk of strangulation, which is a serious complication requiring urgent medical attention. Femoral hernias are more common in women.

Umbilical Hernia

A portion of the gut pushes through a muscular weakness near the navel, or belly button. This type of hernia is more common in newborns. Overweight women, or those who have had several pregnancies, are also at increased risk.

Hiatal Hernia

Hiatal hernias occur when the upper part of the stomach pushes upward through the hiatus-an opening in the diaphragm. Hiatal hernia causes gastroesophageal reflux, a condition in which the contents of the stomach leak backwards into the esophagus and cause a burning sensation.

Causes

A combination of pressure and weakness of muscle or an opening of fascia or muscle leads to hernias. The pressure pushes the tissue or organ through the weak spot or an opening. The muscle weakness could be present right from the birth or occur in the later stage of life. Some of the reasons that cause hernia include:

Constipation or diarrhea

  • Lifting heavy objects without paying attention to stabilization of abdominal muscles
  • Smoking, obesity, and poor nutrition
  • Sneezing and persistent cough

Apart from the symptoms mentioned above, obesity, constipation, poor nutrition or smoking weakens the muscles leading to a hernia.

Treatment

Whether a patient needs treatment depends on the clinical presence or absence of a hernia, symptoms and the size of the hernia.

Last Few Words

If hernias are left unattended, it could get more painful and grow in size. Hernias can cause a portion of intestine to get trapped in the abdominal wall, leading to severe pain, constipation, obstruction in bowel, and nausea. You need to recognize the early signs of the problem and get in  touch with a doctor to know the exact severity of the problem and its treatment.

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