What Exactly is a Hernia?
Weak spots in the body’s muscle or tissue can tear, thus causing fatty tissue or an organ to squeeze through that weak place. Typically, it occurs in the inner groin, the outer groin, belly button or upper stomach, but it can occur at incision spots that are weakened due to previous surgeries.
The inner groin or inguinal hernia allows the bladder or intestine to protrude. The femoral or outer groin happens when the intestine pushes into the canal where the femoral artery is in the upper thigh. An umbilical bulge occurs in the belly button when part of the intestine pushes through the abdominal muscle near the belly button. A hiatal one occurs in the upper stomach when it squeezes through weakened muscles into the diaphragm.
Who Does it Impact?
While a hernia can impact anyone who lifts heavy objects, obese people and those with poor nutrition, it can happen for other reasons too. Severe constipation can cause a problem as well as previous surgeries.
Umbilical problems can occur in newborns, but it also impacts obese women or women who have had many pregnancies. Femoral lumps are common among women too. It usually occurs in women who are obese or pregnant. An inguinal lump happens in men because they have a weakness in the groin area.
Who is at Risk?
There are risk factors for those who will develop a problem like a family history of them. Those who are obese will likely have a problem with them, especially if that person has had a stomach surgery. Along with being obese or overweight, smoking will cause a cough. Coughing can cause the intestines to push against weakened tissue.
One of the biggest signs of a problem is a bulge or lump. It can occur in the groin where the thigh meets the pubic bone, in the stomach or near the belly button. With a baby, you can see the bulge in the belly button when they cry.
There’s pain and discomfort when lifting things, bending over or coughing. The site of the bulge can ache or feel heavy. It might feel like there’s pressure from the inside of the body against the lump. With a hiatal one, there might be chest pain and acid reflux. There could also be difficulty swallowing.
How is it Repaired?
The repair of the lump depends on its severity and whether it complicates the person’s life. A doctor could monitor for complications and suggest dietary changes. Losing weight can have an impact on some areas if they’re related to being obese. With hiatal ones, reducing stomach acid while changing the diet can bring relief.
With serious pain and large bulges, hernia surgery might be the only option for hernia repair. Surgical mesh is inserted into the space, which is sewn into the muscles to reinforce the weak spot. Hernia surgery can be done laparoscopically, which means the doctor will make tiny incisions and use a camera to see the area.