The condition of an organ pushing through a muscle opening or tissue is termed as a hernia. It arises when the muscular wall weakens and couldn’t keep the organs in place. They commonly occur in the abdomen, upper thigh, and groin region. Usually, a hernia is not life-threatening but in many cases, surgery is advised to prevent a small condition from developing into a bigger concern.
With this guide, we will try to understand how hernia is diagnosed, treated, and prevented in detail. Let’s begin without further ado!
The diagnosis of hernia is easier if you understand the different types of herniation in the human body.
Among all the cases of hernia, 75% are related inguinal. It is a type that occurs in the abdominal walls around the groin area where the thigh skin joins the upper body.
An inguinal hernia is further divided into a direct and indirect hernia. The distinguishing factor between these two types is the location. An indirect hernia occurs in the path created by testicles throughout fetal development and descends from the abdomen to the scrotum. A direct hernia happens in a distinct area of abdominal walls which seldom protrude into the scrotum.
The femoral hernia occurs below the groin ligament pushing the organ onto the path of the femoral canal. Women are more susceptible to this type of hernia.
The second most common type of hernia is umbilical with 10% to 30%. It often arises in women after childbirth as the organ protrudes through the belly button or umbilicus.
It most commonly occurs after you’ve had abdominal surgery in the past and the intestine starts pushing out the abdominal wall. It is common in overweight and elderly people.
5) Hiatal or Diaphragmatic
It is a type of hernia where the abdomen starts pushing the diaphragm. In most cases, the normal passageway of the esophagus enters the stomach area leading to a defect as the stomach herniates into the chest.
A physical examination is required for a proper diagnosis of hernia and its variants. Your medical history will also be reviewed to understand the cause. An imaging test like an abdominal ultrasound, CT Scan, or MRI Scan will further confirm the diagnosis. In the case of a hiatal hernia, gastrografin or endoscopy will be used for diagnosis.
In general cases, the doctors will recommend you to make some lifestyle changes or medication to relieve the pain and subside the symptoms. However, if the case is severe, surgery is needed. The treatment involves:
In open surgery, an incision is made in the groin or abdomen region to return the muscle and organ into the original position. The sac that holds the hernia is also removed. A mesh is placed in the weakened space to support the muscle and the incision is closed and left to heal. The recovery time after open surgery is around six weeks during which the doctor would advise you to avoid movements. And a clearly noticeable scar will be left behind.
Laparoscopic Hernia Repair
The less damaging, more precise, and improved technique of hernia repair is laparoscopy. In a Laparoscopic hernia, a smaller incision is made in the peritoneum region and the hernia is repaired by placing the mesh firmly with the muscle. If you have multiple hernias, then laparoscopic surgery is the best solution to avoid multiple incisions and quicker recovery time. The procedure is less painful and the scars heal to an extent that they won’t be clearly visible.
With Pristyn Care, you can even follow-up with the treatment and get tips to prevent the hernia from returning.
As you age, the muscles in the body are weakened resulting in a hernia. Though you might not be able to exclude the possibility to 100%, there are still preventive measures that you can follow to avoid straining your body muscles. It will either help you avoid a hernia entirely or keep the existing condition at bay.
Some useful tips you can follow for the prevention of hernia are given below:
- Avoid smoking
- Go to see a doctor when you have a mild cough
- Maintain your weight and BMS
- Ensure that you don’t strain excessively during bowels or urination
- Eat high-fiber foods to prevent constipation
- Lift objects with your knees instead of back
- Don’t lift heavyweights
- Practice exercises that can help strengthen abdominal muscles