Hernia Treatment

Hernias are the most common gastrointestinal medical problems reported in the medical practice. Any time an internal body part pushes into an area where it doesn't belong, it's called a hernia. The main cause of hernias is a combination of muscle weakness and strain. The muscle weakness is caused due to variety of reasons. These could be due to a birth defect, advancing age, chronic coughing, organ damage due to injury, surgical complications etc. The hernias are classified into four types such as Inguinal, Hiatal, umbilical and incisional. This classification is according to the location of the hernia and its cause. Approximately, 70 % of hernias are Inguinal hernias. These hernias occur when the intestines push through a weak spot or tear in the lower abdominal wall, often in the inguinal canal. Inguinal canal is present near our groin area. In the Hiatal hernia part of stomach protrudes up through the diaphragm into the chest and often seen in elderly patients. Hiatal hernias result in Gastroesophageal reflux. In this case the stomach contents are pushed backwards towards the food pipe resulting in burning sensation. Umbilical hernias are seen in newborn babies when these intestines bulge near the belly button. Incisional hernias are result of an abdominal surgery. The intestines push through the incision scar or the surrounding weakened issue resulting in hernia. Hernia repair surgeries are recommended to relieve patients from the discomfort and pain.

Steps taken:

The patient receives either a general or spinal anaesthesia. There could be an open surgery or minimal invasive laparoscopic surgery. The type of surgery to be used for hernia repair shall depend upon the type and location of the hernia, and pain and discomfort felt by the patient. In the open surgery the surgeons makes the cut near the hernia, locates its, removes the hernia and pushes back the intestine to its position. The weakened abdominal muscles are also repaired to strengthen the abdominal walls by inserting a mesh in the wall and stitching it to make it stronger. This enables strengthening of the weakened tissues and helps to prevent recurrence of hernia. The laparoscopic procedure is performed with the help of a laparoscope. The surgeon makes small cuts to insert the laparoscope and other small instruments and repairs the hernia.

Advantages:

Hernia repair surgeries help resolve pain, trapped intestines, severe Gastroesophageal reflux in the patients that severely affect the daily life. Hernia repair surgeries are fairly successful and the recovery uneventful in majority of the cases.

Precautions:

Patients with concomitant diseases must discuss their medical history with doctor including the medicines taken for the same. Generally, there are no dietary restrictions and the patient can resume his or her regular activities within a week. Complete recovery takes around two to three weeks. . Patients must avoid strenuous physical activities, sports, lifting heavy loads for at least 3 months following the surgery. For any discomfort or recurring symptoms the patient must immediately contact the surgeon.

FAQs

When is it recommended to undergo a surgery?

When the symptoms of hernia lead to discomfort hernia repair surgeries are planned to push back the hernia to its original place.

Do I need to be hospitalised for many days following the surgery?

No; many patients can walk around in a day following the surgeries. Patient will be discharged within 2-3 days and can resume normal activities within a week.

Can hernia be repaired on their own?

No; hernias are protruding body part that has moved away from its original position and cannot go away on their own. They need to be pushed back to its original position. Umbilical hernias seen in newborn babies usually disappear as the baby grows.

Can straining during bowel movements cause hernia?

Yes; straining causes wear and tear of the tissues leading to tissue weakness and is an important causes of hernia. The weakened tissue can then be an easily be protruded by the intestines leading to hernia. One should not neglect any symptoms of constipation and should seek medical consultation. There are very simple remedies available for easy bowel movement and further risks can easily be prevented.

How is a hernia diagnosed?

The hernia is diagnosed with X-ray scans and endoscopy techniques.

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