A hernia is a common problem that looks like a bulge in your stomach or groin area. Hernias are of different types. They may not be problematic or hurt you all the time. Some hernias go away with medication, but in severe cases, it requires surgical treatment to fix it. 

Hernias tend to become bigger and rarely do they even lead to life-threatening complications. So most doctors often suggest surgery to treat severe hernias. However, every hernia may not require surgery nor immediate treatment. It is based upon hernia size and its symptoms. 

A hernia occurs when your internal organs protrude out of weak muscle walls in your abdominal or groin areas. There were many causes of developing hernias. 

Causes of Hernia

You can have different types of hernias depending on how they form. Hernias generally occur when your internal organs are under pressure. If the pressure is more in the area having weak muscles or tissues there the hernia forms. Here are the causes and risk factors that cause hernia: 

  • Birth defect – Some are born with weaker abdominal muscles which are not fully developed. 
  • Ageing – most people experience hernia formation when their bodies are old and their muscles become weak.
  • Lifting heavy objects
  • Damage to muscle walls from an injury or surgery
  • Chronic cough or COPD
  • Doing strenuous exercise 
  • Pregnancy, particularly having multiple pregnancies
  • Chronic constipation 
  • Extreme use of the same muscle
  • Ascites – abnormal fluid buildup in the abdomen called 
  • Being overweight or obesity
  • Consumption of tobacco.
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Hereditary – history of hernias 

You may also develop hernias due to particular movements and habits, or make your existing hernias worse.

Types Of Hernias

Most of the hernias occur in the abdominal area or the groin area. There are different kinds of hernias classified based on the location of formation. Below are the common and major types of hernias:

  • Inguinal hernia
  • Hiatal hernia
  • Umbilical hernia
  • Incisional hernia
  • Femoral hernia

Below are some rare types of hernias:

  • Diaphragmatic Hernia
  • Spigelian Hernia
  • Obturator Hernia
  • Epigastric Hernia
  • Sciatic Hernia
  • Gluteal Hernia

Symptoms Of Hernia

A bulge or a lump is the most common symptom of any hernia at the site of the affected area. For instance, if you suffer from an inguinal hernia, you might notice a lump where your groin and thigh meet. The lump dissolves when you lie on the bed. You can feel your hernia if you touch it when you stand, bend, or while coughing. You may also experience discomfort or pain around the lump.

The symptoms of hernia also vary based on the type of hernia you are having. For example, if you have Hiatal Hernias, you suffer from more specific symptoms such as heartburn, indigestion, trouble swallowing, and chest pain.

Hernias go symptomless in many cases, and you may not know that you have a hernia problem unless it is found during a regular physical examination or a medical check-up.

Treatment Of Hernia: 

The treatment depends on the size of the hernias and the severity of their symptoms. The treatment options include three choices: 

  • Lifestyle changes
  • Medication
  • Surgery

Lifestyle Changes:

Changing your food habits can often help to manage symptoms of hernias particularly Hiatal Hernia, but it may not cure completely. If you have a hiatal hernia, avoid large or heavy meals and also maintain a healthy weight. 

Specific exercises, as suggested by experts, can help to strengthen your muscles at the site of the hernia. It is recommended not to perform exercises because incorrect positions might increase the pressure and the hernia swells. Therefore it is highly advised to follow the instructions of a physiotherapist correctly. 

Hernia symptoms can be managed by avoiding certain spicy foods which result in acid reflux or heartburn. You can also prevent acid reflux by reducing your weight and avoiding smoking.

Hernia Surgery

Hernia surgery is suggested in severe cases that are not able treated with medication. The surgery helps to relieve pain, strengthen your weak muscles and restores the abdominal muscles into place. Surgery is of two different types: 

Open Surgery

It is a traditional procedure performed under local anaesthesia by making a large incision at the site of the hernia. The procedure involves pushing back the protrusions back into their place by the surgeon. The weak area is closed by placing a mesh or thread, or both, and the incision is closed. 

Laparoscopic Procedure

Laparoscopy is a highly recommended surgical procedure for hernias. The procedure involves making small holes at the site of the hernia and insertion of a thin telescopic with a camera head that displays the inner view onto the monitors. The surgeon inserts other small tools to repair the hernia and to place a synthetic mesh. 

Laparoscopic Surgery for Hernia is the most beneficial procedure. So most doctors prefer laparoscopy as the first line of surgical treatment. However, compared to laparoscopy, the recurrence rate of hernia in open surgery is very less. Both men and women are prone to affect from a hernia. The best thing is if you notice any symptoms contact our experts at Matrusri Hospital. Most hernias can be treated in one way or the other.