Weakness or hole in the peritoneum, the muscular wall that usually keeps abdominal organs in place, this is a hernia. Nonetheless, this defect in peritoneum allows organs and tissues to push through, or herniate, producing a bulge.
The article takes us through the challenges, causes, symptoms, diagnosis & treatment. Over a period of time, the lump may disappear when the person lies down, and sometimes it can be pushed back into. Coughing may make it reappear.
Hernia comes in different forms and sizes and often include:
- Groin: a femoral hernia creates a bulge just below the groin. The problem is more often found in women. Take note, an inguinal hernia is more common in men. It is a bulge in the groin that may reach the scrotum.
The scrotum (or scrotal sac) is a part of the external male genitalia located behind and underneath the penis.
- The upper part of the stomach: a hiatal or hiatus hernia is caused in the upper part of the stomach pushing out of the abdominal cavity and into the chest cavity through an opening in the diaphragm.
- Belly button: a bulge in this region is produced by an umbilical or periumbilical hernia.
- Surgical scar: past abdominal surgery can lead to an incisional hernia through the scar.
The symptoms often include the most vivid,
- A bulge in the area on either side of your pubic bone, which becomes more obvious when you’re upright, especially if you cough or strain
- A burning or aching sensation at the bulge
- Pain or discomfort in your groin, especially when bending over, coughing or lifting
- A heavy or dragging sensation in your groin
- Weakness or pressure in your groin
Occasionally, pain and swelling around the testicles when the protruding intestine descends into the scrotum.
R & D are still in progress with the cause of hernia with an exception for incisional hernia (a complication of abdominal surgery). But, in most cases, there is no obvious reason for a hernia to occur.
The risk of hernia increases with age and occurs more commonly in men than in women.
A hernia can be congenital (present at birth) or develop in children who have a weakness in their abdominal wall.
Activities and medical problems that increase pressure on the abdominal wall can lead to hernia. These include:
- Straining on the toilet (due to long-term constipation, for example)
- Persistent cough
- Cystic fibrosis
- Enlarged prostate
- Straining to urinate
- Being overweight or obese
- Abdominal fluid
- Lifting heavy items
- Peritoneal dialysis
- Poor nutrition
- Physical exertion
- Undescended testicles
The leading problem invites risks such as:
Umbilical hernia risk factors
In adults, the risk factors include:
- Being overweight
- Having multiple pregnancies
- Being female
Hiatal hernia risk factors
The risk of hiatal hernia is higher in people who:
- Are aged 50 years or over
- Have obesity
Incisional hernia risk factors
People are most susceptible 3-6 months after the procedure, especially if:
- They are involved in strenuous activity
- Have gained additional weight
- Become pregnant
Inguinal hernia risk factors
- Older adults
- People with close relatives who have had inguinal hernias
- People who have had inguinal hernias previously
- Smokers, as chemicals in tobacco, weaken tissues, making a hernia more likely
- People with chronic constipation
- Premature birth and low birth weight
Amongst all types of hernias, a femoral hernia is the deadly one, it doesn’t show any symptoms and add to the risk. Time alone can unfold the best treatment for this.
Within 2 years of a femoral hernia being diagnosed, 40 percent result in bowel strangulation.
During diagnosis, some types of hernia needn’t have the attention of surgery but hernia that stops the blood flow to a particular tissue needs emergency surgery.
These health authorities consider an earlier, routine operation preferable to a riskier emergency procedure.
Although surgical options depend on individual circumstances, including the location of the hernia, there are two main types of surgical intervention for hernia:
- Open surgery
- Laparoscopic operation (keyhole surgery)
- Open surgical repair closes the hernia using sutures, mesh, or both, and the surgical wound in the skin is closed with sutures, staples, or surgical glue.
- Laparoscopic repair is used for repeat operations to avoid previous scars, and while usually more expensive, is less likely to cause complications such as infection.
- Surgical repair of hernia guided by a laparoscope allows for the use of smaller incisions, enabling a faster recovery from the operation.
The hernia is repaired in the same way as in open surgery, but it is guided by a small camera and a light introduced through a tube, the whole operation is performed under general anaesthetic.
Although surgical options depend on individual circumstances, including the location of the hernia, there are two main types of surgical intervention for a hernia.
Hernia in children
An inguinal hernia is one of the most common surgical conditions in infants and children.
The rate of recurrence is similar for both types of procedure, but complications, such as wound infection, are more likely with open surgery, especially in an infant.