A Hernia is a common medical condition that affects people of all ages and backgrounds. In essence, a hernia occurs when an internal organ or tissue pushes through a weakened area in the muscles or connective tissues that are meant to hold it in place. This condition often results in a noticeable lump or bulge, usually in the abdominal or groin region.
The primary treatment for hernias is surgical repair. During the procedure, the surgeon will push the protruding organ or tissue back into its proper place and then strengthen the weakened area with stitches or a synthetic mesh to prevent recurrence. Most hernia surgeries are minimally invasive, allowing for quicker recovery and less post-operative discomfort.
Identifying hernia types: What are they?
Hernias can be classified into several types, as follows.
Inguinal hernia. A condition in which the intestine protrudes through one of two passages in the lower abdominal wall called the inguinal canal. Approximately 27% of men and 3% of women will develop an inguinal hernia at some point in their lives, according to researchers.
Femoral hernia. A femoral canal is a deeper passageway located in the upper thigh/outer groin area. Women are more likely to develop them than men, and they are much less common than inguinal hernias. In addition, if they are not repaired, they may cause worse complications.
Ventral hernia. The muscles of the abdomen are exposed through an opening. Ventral hernias can be classified into three types:
- Epigastric hernia. This occurs above the belly button.
- Incisional hernia. Result from an incision during a previous abdominal surgery that weakened the abdominal muscles.
- Umbilical hernia. Newborns, especially premature infants, are most likely to develop these infections near their bellybutton. A child’s hernia usually closes on its own by the time he or she turns four. In adults, umbilical hernias can be more problematic.
Hiatal hernia. An upper part of the stomach bulges into the chest through a small opening in the diaphragm (the hiatus).
In what ways are hernias symptomatic?
Most hernias are characterized by a noticeable lump or bulge, as well as discomfort and pain. You might not always feel lumps or bulges; they may go away when you lie down. You may experience worse symptoms when you stand, strain, or lift heavy objects. In most cases, a doctor can diagnose hernias through a physical exam, but imaging is sometimes necessary.
You may also need emergency hernia surgery if you have:
- Bulges that do not go back inside the abdomen.
- An unexpectedly large bulge.
- Having bloating.
- An illness.
- A feeling of nausea or vomiting.
- Hernia-related redness.
Surgical treatments for hernia:
Hernia can be removed in two ways by your doctor. Both are done at a hospital. Within a few days, you'll be able to go home. In most cases, people can go home the same day they have their surgery.
Hernia repair by open surgery (traditional). In this procedure, the herniated tissue is operated on through one incision (cut). To strengthen the tissue, they stitch the tissues back together using surgical instruments. The tissue is often reinforced with surgical mesh by surgeons.
Laparoscopic hernia repair surgery. The procedure involves several tiny cuts (usually three or four) in the abdomen. Laparoscopes are thin tubes with tiny cameras that take pictures of the insides of the body. Surgical instruments are inserted into the other incisions to repair the hernia.
What is the expected recovery time after hernia surgery?
You will be provided with a specific plan by your surgeon, but he or she may not be able to give you an exact timeline. Until a hernia is surgically repaired, doctors cannot fully determine its severity.
Surgery for hernias is usually performed as an outpatient procedure. Following surgery, it is best to start moving as soon as possible. Blood clots and constipation can be prevented with this movement. It is important to follow your doctor's instructions regarding what you can lift, how you can lift, and how long you must remain on any restrictions. Some restrictions may be permanent.
In what ways does hernia surgery benefit you?
Hernia surgery benefits patients by repairing and preventing hernia recurrence. The recurrence rate depends on the type of surgery and hernia location. Laparoscopic surgery may have a lower recurrence rate and offers the advantages of less scarring, reduced need for pain medications, and faster recovery. The use of mesh has been shown to decrease the risk of recurrence by half.
Non-Surgical Hernia Treatments
In cases where surgery is not an option or while waiting for surgery, physicians may recommend supportive undergarments like corsets, binders, or trusses. These garments help keep hernias in place, provide relief from pain or discomfort, and can be used for temporary relief. It's crucial to follow the doctor's guidance when using these supportive aids.
Disclaimer: This is general information about the disease and treatment options. Please consult a specialist doctor for the right diagnosis and treatment, which may vary based on each patient. Book an appointment with your specialist to know more.
Hernia Surgery at Royal Care
At Royal Care, we offer comprehensive hernia surgery services. Our expert team of surgeons employs advanced techniques to ensure effective treatment and speedy recovery. Whether you're dealing with an inguinal hernia, femoral hernia, ventral hernia, or any other type, we provide personalized care to address your specific needs.