Hernias

Hernias

Overview

The word “Hernia” means “coming through”. Hernia is the condition wherein an organ projects through a weak spot in the surrounding muscle. When the organ protrudes through a weak area in the connecting tissue it leads to pain, and if this is neglected it can cause serious complications. A hernia can occur in different areas and the most commonly found hernias are Inguinal hernia- in the area above the groin; Incisional hernia – in scar tissues; Femoral hernia – in the upper area of the thigh; Umbilical hernia – in the area near the navel; Epigastric hernia – in the gaps of the abdominal wall between breastbone and navel and those that cannot be observed externally are known as Diaphragmatic hernias. Hernias do not generally go on their own.

Signs and symptoms

Hernias are often seen as bulges without much pain and discomfort but still carry a threat with their presence. The common symptoms include vomiting, nausea, trouble while breathing, swallowing, muscle tensions, fever and belching.

Causes and risk factors

Hernia syndrome is caused when the abdominal muscles or connecting tissues are weak by birth, due to surgery or illness, heavy-weights are lifted in the incorrect postures and continuous heavy coughing and sneezing.

Complications

Hernia, when left undiagnosed or untreated can get bigger over time and lead to constriction like blockage of the bowel passage, etc. If the blood vessels in the hernia sac are dead, it can lead to inflammation of the sac, which can pierce through the skin.

Diagnosis

Diagnosis is done by studying the patient’s medical history and examining the symptoms being displayed.

Surgery

Surgical treatment is the best option to treat a Hernia. Hernioplasty is the surgical treatment which involves tissue repair. The safest option is Laparoscopic or keyhole surgery where minimal invasion is required. The hernia is removed by inserting special surgical instruments which involves reduced blood loss and quicker healing. Open surgery is the other option where the hernia sac is removed or pushed into the abdomen, and a fine synthetic mesh is placed around the area for support.

Prevention

Depending on the type of hernia, its occurrence can be prevented. The preventive measures include avoiding certain physical activities like lifting heavy weights, reducing alcohol intake, avoiding smoking, maintaining good body weight, etc.

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