What is a Hernia?
A hernia can occur in any part of the body that has an opening for a muscle or organ to pass through. The common inguinal hernia is located in the groin area. A femoral hernia occurs in the thigh just below the groin. An umbilical hernia is located near or under the belly button, while a hiatal hernia occurs at the opening of the stomach into the oesophagus (the tube that connects the mouth to the stomach).
Treatment for most hernias is either observation or surgery. If you have symptoms from a hernia, see your doctor find out what’s best for you.
Know the Types of Hernia
Hernias are classified by their location in the body and by their size. The most common types of hernia include:
Inguinal hernias occur when the intestines push through a weak spot or tear in the lower abdominal wall, often in the inguinal canal. The inguinal canal is found in your groin. In men, it is the area where the spermatic cord passes from the abdomen to the scrotum. This cord attaches to the testicles. In women, the inguinal canal contains a ligament (called the round ligament) that helps hold the uterus in place.
Treatment for inguinal hernia depends on how severe it is and if there is any discomfort or pain associated with it. Inguinal hernias that are not causing pain often aren’t treated right away.
Hiatal hernias, which are also called hiatus hernias, are a common cause of heartburn and acid reflux. They occur when tissue from the stomach protrudes into the chest through an opening in the diaphragm—the muscle that separates your chest from your abdomen. Hiatal hernias are common in people over age 50. The exact cause of this condition is unknown, but it can be caused by eating large meals, being overweight or repetitive strain against the stomach area from coughing or vomiting. Treatment depends on whether there is also an ulcer present (Hiatal hernia with GERD). If so, treatment involves stopping reflux, either by taking medication such as omeprazole (Losec) or pantoprazole (Protonix) or by surgically placing a band around the lower end of the oesophagus.
An umbilical hernia is a small sac-like protrusion of the abdominal cavity through the umbilicus. Umbilical hernias are a common cause of protruding tissue in the abdominal area. In most cases, this bulge is not something to worry about. However, if your child develops a bulge or swelling around her belly button, you should take her to the doctor for an evaluation.
An umbilical hernia can be diagnosed with a physical exam and/or an ultrasound. It can be caused by weakness in the abdominal muscles. It can also be caused by fetal tissue that remains attached to the navel after birth, causing constriction. If left untreated, an umbilical hernia may result in discomfort and even difficulty breathing. Treatment for an umbilical hernia includes observation, surgical repair, or a combination of both.
Ventral hernias are the most common type of hernia. They are caused by the weakening of abdominal muscles, often due to aging. Other factors contributing to ventral hernia development include obesity and strenuous activities like heavy lifting, jogging, or working out. Treatment for ventral hernias may include surgery to repair the defect in abdominal wall muscles or tissues, depending on the size of your hernia and its location. Ventral hernia repair is usually performed in an outpatient setting using general anaesthesia.
What are the Symptoms of Hernia?
A hernia is a bulging of soft tissue through an opening in the muscle or surrounding tissue. This bulge can be felt and sometimes seen, such as a bulge in your abdomen, groin, or chest area. A hernia occurs when the muscle and surrounding tissue are weakened and cannot support internal organs properly. This can happen when a person has a disease that affects their muscles or when they have had surgery to remove part of the muscle or tissue.
Hernias are a fairly common problem. In most cases, they are treatable. Most hernias do not require surgery. Treatment varies depending on where the hernia is located and what type of hernia it is. Hernias can easily be confused with other conditions that cause similar symptoms, such as abscesses, cysts, and tumours. However, if you have a lump in your groin or abdomen, it is a good idea to get it checked out to be sure it isn’t a hernia.
What Causes Hernia?
A hernia is a common problem that occurs when an organ pushes through a weakened area of the muscle wall. Doctors believe that many hernias result from increased pressure in the abdomen pushing through weak muscles.
Hernias are caused by weakness or damage to the tissues that hold internal organs in place. This weakness can be present at birth, or it can result from an injury, obesity or strenuous exercise. They may also be caused by chronic coughing and COPD, pregnancy, or constipation.
Treatment depends on the type of hernia. Most small hernias do not require treatment and will go away on their own. Larger hernias may need treatment to prevent complications. Treatment options include:
- Watchful waiting
- Surgical repair
- Weight loss surgery (if obesity is involved)
- Hormone therapy (to shrink a tumour)
Though hernias are often thought of as groin problems, they may occur in other areas of the body such as the abdomen or chest. If you have any concerns about your symptoms, consult your doctor for an examination and diagnosis.
What is the Treatment of Hernia?
If you have a hernia that is not causing discomfort, your doctor may recommend watchful waiting. Watchful waiting is a period of observation during which the doctor monitors your hernia for any complications, such as infection or strangulation.
If your hernia does cause you significant pain or discomfort, surgery may be needed to repair the weakened area of muscle tissue. Surgery involves pushing the bulging part of the intestine back through the hole in the muscle wall. A special mesh tissue is then sewn around the hole to strengthen it and prevent future injuries. In some cases, surgeons will use tissue from other parts of the body to repair a hernia, but most repairs are done with synthetic mesh material.
You may also want to try over-the-counter (OTC) medications such as antacids, H2 receptor blockers, or proton pump inhibitors if you have heartburn from acid reflux. These medicines can relieve heartburn and prevent damage from stomach acid. Always check with your doctor first before taking OTC medicines.
A hernia is a physical defect that occurs when there is a weak spot in the abdominal wall or groin area. As the abdominal wall or groin muscles stretch or contract, they can push through this weak spot, causing a bulge to form on the surface of the abdomen.
Your doctor will also likely use imaging tests to aid in their diagnosis. These can include:
Abdominal ultrasound- An abdominal ultrasound is a non-invasive procedure performed to look for the cause of abdominal pain, like a hernia. Not every person who has an abdominal ultrasound develops a herniated disc, but people are more likely to develop one if they have had previous abdominal surgeries and experience back or abdominal discomfort that does not improve with time.
Abdominal CT scan- An abdominal CT scan combines X-rays with computer technology to produce an image. This scan can show the organs in your belly, the bones of your spine, and any abnormal tissue that might be causing pain.
Abdominal MRI scan- The MRI scanner has many coils that produce a very strong magnetic field. The radio waves are transmitted into the body by the coils. They are absorbed differently by different tissues, muscles, bones, and fluids. The resulting differences in absorption of the radio waves cause different parts of the body to become slightly magnetized. When the radio waves are turned off, these areas retain some of their magnetism and become detectable by a receiver coil in the MRI machine.
Your doctor may use other tests that allow them to assess the inside of your stomach, including:
X-rays of your digestive tract- During the test, you will be asked to drink some liquid that contains either barium or a special dye called Gastrografin. Barium coats your digestive tract, and the special dye allows your doctor to see the digestive tract more clearly on X-ray images.
Endoscopy- This test uses a thin tube with a tiny camera on its end. Your doctor will insert this tube down your throat and into your oesophagus, stomach, and duodenum during an upper endoscopy, or down your throat and into the lower portion of your oesophagus during a lower endoscopy. Endoscopy allows doctors to get a close look at internal structures of the digestive tract.
What are the home remedies for hernia?
Hiatal hernias can be a tricky condition to deal with. Home remedies for hernia are a good place to start when trying to control symptoms, but if you are suffering from chronic pain or other issues, it might be time to book an appointment with your doctor.
Constipation if you have a hernia, your doctor may recommend increasing your fibre intake. Fiber helps prevent constipation and straining during bowel movements, which can aggravate a hernia.
Eating small meals throughout the day instead of three large ones may help reduce gastric reflux and pressure from a hiatal hernia. Also avoid lying down immediately after eating and avoid heavy meals, spicy foods, greasy foods, and carbonated beverages, all of which can worsen hernia symptoms.
Acid reflux is a condition that affects many people. It occurs when the muscles in the oesophagus, which carries food from the mouth to the stomach, are not able to close properly. This allows food and stomach acid to move up into the oesophagus, where it can burn the lining and cause pain.
Hernia cure with or without surgery?
Hernias can be painful and sometimes dangerous if they get so big that they put pressure on non-herniated organs. But most hernias do not need any treatment at all, especially if they cause no symptoms or do not get bigger over time. If you have a hernia, whether you need surgery to fix it depends on your symptoms and the size of the hernia. Surgery to repair a hernia is called a hernioplasty.
A hernia, or rupture of the abdominal wall, can occur in one of two places: either in the area between your chest and belly (inguinal hernia), or in the area between your belly button and pubic bone (direct abdominal hernia). Hernias are small and may seem to disappear without treatment. However, they can cause pain, discomfort, and other symptoms that affect your quality of life.
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