Following are the common questions about Hernia:
A. A hernia is a protrusion of fatty tissues or an organ through the abdominal wall due to weakness. This leads to immense pain and other problems as well. Most of the hernias occur within the abdominal cavity, usually around the groin region or between the chest and hips.
Normally, it is the abdominal muscle tissues that keep the organs in their place. When the tissues lose their strength, the pressure inside the abdomen may create a hole or protrusion in the muscles and the organ will get displaced. Over time, the hole in the muscle wall will grow and the condition will become severe until it becomes an emergency.
A. The primary cause of hernias is weakness and strain on the muscles. The reason that can affect the integrity of the muscles can be any of the following:
If any one of these aforementioned conditions is present in a person, he/she is more likely to develop a hernia.
A. The warning signs of hernia include the following-
These are the symptoms that the hernia is getting severe gradually and you should get it treated promptly.
A. The different types of hernia that can occur in the body include-
Out of these types of hernias, inguinal hernias are most common and occur in men more than women. Other types are less common but have a similar potential to cause complications.
A. There is no permanent cure for a hernia. There are only treatment methods available that can address the ongoing problem and provide relief from the symptoms. The most effective treatment for a hernia is surgical repair. Other than that, you can try preventative measures to reduce the chances of hernia occurrence.
A. If left untreated for a long time, hernias can cause the following problems-
All these complications can be complex to treat. That's why it is often recommended to get timely treatment for hernias.
A. In severe cases, a hernia can cause complications that can be life-threatening. These complications include obstruction, incarceration, and strangulation. These three complications are related to each other and cause permanent organ damage if not treated on time. Once the organ starts to die, it will be difficult to save the patient's life.
A. To diagnose a hernia, the doctor will first perform a physical examination.
The doctor will ask you to stand and cough/strain to make the hernia clearly visible.
If you are a man, the doctor will check the area around the testicles and groin to find the bulging hernia.
If the physical examination is not conclusive, the doctor will suggest imaging tests, including CT scan, MRI scan, and ultrasound to identify the type of hernia and to narrow down the treatment option as well.
A. There is no guaranteed way to prevent hernia development, especially if it is caused due to inherited weakness in the abdominal wall. However, you can avoid certain risk factors to prevent the condition. The prevention tips include-
A. Generally, it is not recommended for a pregnant woman to undergo hernia surgery. The doctor will most likely ask the woman to take precautions and wait for the treatment until after she had given birth. However, in some cases, a hernia may cause complications and emergency treatment may be needed.
As a result, the doctor may perform surgical repair during the second trimester. A mesh is also placed for support as the risk of the hernia coming back during pregnancy is high. But the mesh can also limit the abdominal muscles' flexibility and cause pain. Therefore, the surgeon needs to consider all possible scenarios before performing hernia repair surgery.
In other cases, the doctor may suggest hernia repair during a C-section birth.
A. The basic principle behind hernia treatment is to close the hole or opening in the abdominal muscles safely and prevent the organ from protruding from the muscle tissues.
To do this, open, laparoscopic, or robotic techniques may be used. Furthermore, if required, the surgeon may also place a hernia mesh around the muscle opening to prevent the organ from displacement. The best method for hernia treatment is determined by the surgeon after proper diagnosis.
A. There are three different techniques available for hernia treatment- open surgery, laparoscopic surgery, and robotic surgery. Out of these three techniques, robotic surgery is comparatively new due to which many people don't prefer this technique.
Between open and laparoscopic hernia repair, the best technique is decided after accurately diagnosing the patient. If the patient has an inguinal hernia, the surgeon may recommend open surgery rather than laparoscopic because it has higher intraoperative complications than open repair. In other cases, the surgeon may prefer the laparoscopic technique as it is minimally invasive, causes less pain, and allow the patient to recover quickly.
Therefore, it can be said that there is no best technique for hernia repair. However, there will be a more suitable technique to treat hernia that will be determined by the hernia specialist.
A. The majority of hernia surgeries are successful and don't result in hernia recurrence. However, there are always chances that a hernia may return months or years after the surgery. In various cases, the patient develops an incisional hernia which occurs due to surgical treatment. To make sure this doesn't happen, the doctor provides a detailed guide to the patient that ensures they stay in good shape and reduce the chances of developing a hernia.
A. The cost of hernia surgery varies from patient to patient.
The doctor will give you an estimate of the overall treatment after a thorough diagnosis. There are also several factors due to the which the final cost may vary for each patient-
A. No. Hernia mesh is not required for all hernia repairs. In many cases, the patient decides to undergo hernia surgery when the damage to the abdominal muscles is very minimal, the surgeon decides to stitch the tissues normally without placing a mesh for support. However, if the condition is advanced and the damage to the muscle tissues is severe, the surgeon will use a suitable mesh to support the weak muscle tissues and act as reinforcement by keeping the organ in place. Whether a hernia mesh will be used or not depends on the severity of the condition. The doctor will make a decision accordingly.
Note: Hernia repair surgery that is performed without using mesh, is called herniorrhaphy. And if a mesh is used for the repair, the procedure is called hernioplasty.
A. There are certain factors that increase the risk of developing a hernia in a person. If you have any of the following, you need to watch out for the symptoms and seek treatment on time.
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