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What Is Hernia and How Is It Treated?

Representing one of the most common problems affecting a majority of people, a hernia occurs when a person develops a localized bulge in the groin or abdominal region. Sometimes, it may be harmless, other times, it may be free. However, at times, it may bring pain and discomfort. 

Overview of Hernia

A hernia occurs when you experience weakness due to the development of a hole in the peritoneum or the muscular wall. This wall or the peritoneum is responsible for keeping your abdominal organs intact in its place. When your peritoneum experiences any defect of this type, your organs and tissues are pushed out from the herniate. This results in a bulge formation. The bulge or lump so formed may, however, disappear once the person lies down. Soon it may reappear once you start coughing vigorously. Hernia Treatment is advised by doctors in case of hernia.

Hernia Types

A hernia can be seen in the following areas of the body

The upper part of the stomach

Hernia of the upper stomach is usually referred to as a hiatal or hiatus hernia. This is caused when the upper part of your stomach pops out from your abdominal cavity to enter into your chest cavity. This passage of the upper stomach occurs through the diaphragm opening. 

Groin

Groin or the femoral hernia results in bulge formation just beneath your groin. This type of hernia is common among women, while the inguinal hernia is commonly observed amongst men. Here, you may experience a bulge formation in the groin, which may reach the scrotum.

Surgical scar

Post abdominal surgical incisions may lead to an incisional hernia, which is often referred to as the surgical scar.

Belly button

A hernia or a bulge formation at your belly button is referred to as umbilical hernia or periumbilical hernia.

Hernia causes explained

The only form of hernia where you are aware of its cause is known as the incisional hernia. You have no apparent reason to understand what is hidden behind your hernia in most of the other hernia types. Being age and gender-specific, risks associated with hernia increases rapidly.

A hernia may either be present since birth or may later develop during childhood. This is usually observed in children who possess a weak abdominal wall. Besides, there are certain activities which increase the risks associated with hernia are inclusive of – 

  • Persistent cough

  • Enlarged prostate gland

  • Abdominal fluid

  • Physical exertion

  • Smoking

  • Overweight or obesity

  • Cystic fibrosis

  • Peritoneal dialysis

Hernia Treatment

For a symptomless hernia, what you can do is to simply watch and wait. However, this can prove to be highly risky for other hernia types, such as femoral hernias. After 2 years of being diagnosed with a hernia, 40 percent contribute to bowel strangulation. To date, it is unclear whether undergoing a non-emergency hernia treatment may prove to beneficial or not. While some surgeons feel it’s essential to select elective surgery, others feel the removal of gut strangulation is the only option available. However, the latter option involves a complication as the supply of blood to the affected tissue is chopped off in the entire process. This, if worsened further, may immediately require emergency medical assistance. 

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