Hernia is generally quite a common problem that’s painless and not at all harmful a lot of the time. However, sometimes it can bring about discomfort, with surgial procedures required in the most extreme cases.
A hernia is when an internal part of your body, such as organs and tissues, pushes through a weakness or even a hole in the peritoneum, the wall that keeps various parts in place. Hernias usually occur somewhere between the hips and chest. If you have a hernia, you may notice a small swelling or lump of some kind in this general area. The lump may be able to be pushed back into place. If you lie down, you may notice the lump disappear, however it may reappear if you start coughing.
There are several main types of hernia:
Femoral hernias. These are associated with aging and long-term strain on the tummy. They’re more common in women than in men. They occur at the top of the inner thigh.
Inguinal hernias. These are very similar to femoral hernias, except that they’re more common in men than women.
Umbilical hernias. These can occur when tissue pushes through your tummy near the belly button. This type of hernia can occur in adults through strain on the tummy. It can also occur in babies if after birth the opening in the tummy that the umbilical cord passes through doesn’t fully seal up.
Hiatus hernias. These occur when part of your stomach pushes through the diaphragm. They don’t have too many symptoms, though they may lead to heartburn.
If you think you have any kind of hernia, it’s best to see your doctor as soon as possible. There are certain symptoms that can be a sign that there’s something serious going on. If you think you have a hernia and you notice any of the following symptoms, you should book an emergency appointment straight away. The symptoms to look out for include:
– Severe pain
– If the hernia becomes firm and can’t be pushed back in
– Having difficulty defecating or passing wind
When you visit a doctor to see to a hernia, your doctor will examine the area around the hernia and will dertermine the appropriate course of action to take. Surgery may be required, especially if the pain continues to worsen or the hernia’s affecting your daily life and what you can do. Your doctor will assess your current state of health and past medical records when determining whether you should have surgery or not.
There are two types of surgery performed to cure hernias. There’s open surgery, where the surgeon makes a cut in the affected area and simply pushes the hernia back into place. Then there’s keyhole surgery, where several smaller cuts are made by the surgeon and instruments are used to push the hernia back in place. Both types of surgery aren’t too invasive; in fact, after having either type of surgery you should be able to go home on the same day and fully recover in a matter of weeks.
Hernias tend to be more common in men than women. You’re more likely to get a hernia the older you are. There are several factors that are believed to cause hernias, including:
– Physical exertion
– Struggling to urinate
– Persistent coughing
– Poor diet
– Regularly lifting heavy objects
– Being obese or overweight
– Straining when on the toilet
Hernias aren’t usually something to worry about. However, if you have one and nothing’s done about it, there’s a chance of the hernia getting trapped in the abdominal wall. If this happens, the hernia may become strangulated, which means the blood supply to the trapped tissue is cut off – this can become life-threatening. Therefore, if you suspect you have a hernia, it’s important you consult with your doctor sooner rather than later.