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Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Hernias: Types, Symptoms, Causes and Treatment

If an internal body part pushes itself into an area where it does not belong, then it is called a hernia. For instance, the intestine parts may break through a weak area in the abdominal wall.
Hernias commonly happens in the abdomen, but it can also appear in the belly button, upper thigh, and groin areas. Most hernias are not life threatening, but they do not go away on their own and require surgery in order to prevent potentially dangerous complications. In this article, we will share with various symptoms, causes, and treatments of this painful disease.
What are the main types of hernias?
1. Inguinal
It is the most common type of hernia and it occurs when any part of bowel squeezes through the lower abdomen and into the groin.
2. Hiatus
It occurs when part of the stomach pushes up into the chest through an opening in the diaphragm.
3. Femoral
This type of hernia happens when any fatty tissue or any part of bowel pushes through into groin at the top of inner thigh.
4. Incisional
It occurs when any tissue pushes through a surgical wound in the abdomen that has not healed completely.
5. Umbilical
When fatty tissues or any part of bowel pushes through abdomen close to the navel.
6. Epigastric
It’s when fatty tissue pushes through abdomen between breastbone (sternum) and belly button.
7. Spigelian
This happens when part of bowel pushes through the abdomen by stomach muscles below the belly button.
8. Muscle
It happens when part of muscle pushes through the abdomen sometimes after a sports injury.

What are the symptoms of a hernia?

Generally, a hernia can easily be felt or seen on your body. Some other important symptoms of hernias comprise of:
  • Pain when exercising
  • Constipation
  • An uncomfortable feeling in the gut
  • The lump gets smaller when you lie down
  • The lump gets bigger when you cough
You can also gently press on hernia to make sure that it’s not a non-reducible hernia. After that, watch out for symptoms which will suggest that yours has become strangulated:
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Severe pain
If you have any of these symptoms, see a doctor as soon as possible. In many cases, surgery is needed to remove it completely. If it’s not treated immediately, it may increase the risk of gangrene.

What are the causes of a hernia?

The real cause of some types of hernias can’t be pinpointed, but many types of hernias are due to any comparatively weak spot in the abdominal wall, increased pressure within the abdomen, or a combination of these two.
In adults, hernias commonly develop in pregnant women and obese people due to the increased pressure on the abdominal wall.
In men, the hernia will commonly develop in the groin, specifically in a region called the inguinal canal. This is where the blood vessels to the testicles and spermatic cord pass out of the abdominal cavity and into the scrotum. Weak abdominal tissues can allow the bowel loop to pass-out of the abdomen through the spermatic cord path or between the opening into the pubic bone and inguinal canal.
Generally, umbilical hernias are present at birth. Adults may develop this when there is a weakness in tissue in the umbilical area along with increased pressure on the wall of abdominal.

How can we diagnose a hernia?

Hernia diagnosis is usually simple- your doctor can see it and feel it easily. Your doctor may also ask you to cough or to bend or move.
In order to visualize the problem, the doctor can also arrange a bio-imaging test, such as a (computerized tomography) scan or an ultrasound scan.

What are the treatments for a hernia?

For a normal hernia without any symptoms, a usual course-of-action is to watch and wait. But, it can be hazardous for certain types of hernias, like femoral hernias. There are various ways to cure a hernia, but a hernia cure without surgery is one of the best ways to get rid of this disease. Here are two popular ways to cure this ailment:
1. Lifestyle changes
Some dietary changes can usually treat the symptoms of a hernia. You should avoid heavy or large meals, keep your body weight in a healthy range, and do not bend over or lie down after a meal.
Besides, you can improve symptoms by avoiding foods that cause heartburn or acid reflux, such as tomato-based foods and spicy foods. In addition to this, you can avoid reflux by giving up cigarettes and losing weight. If changes in your diet do not eliminate discomfort, you may need medication and surgery to correct a hernia.
2. Surgery
Nowadays, hernias are removed from the body with the help of surgery. Although the surgical option of hernia removal depends on individual circumstances, including its location, there are mainly two types of surgical intervention:
  1. Open surgery
  2. Laparoscopic operation (keyhole surgery)
Open surgery needs longer recovery process and you may be unable to move around normally for up to 6-9 weeks. Whereas laparoscopic surgery has a shorter recovery period. However, the hernia recurrence risk is higher in a laparoscopic operation.

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