What is Hernia

What is a hernia?

Hernia is a gap in the muscles and fascia of the abdominal wall through which the inner contents, small and/or large intestine, stomach, bladder etc, may protrude out into the skin.

What are the types of hernia?

There are several types of hernias know in human. They are broadly divided into internal and external hernias. Internal hernias are not apparent on the outside and can be dangerous.

External hernias are the more common ones and are of several types:

Inguinal Hernia

Seen very commonly, a swelling in the groin may which appears on standing and reduces on lying down may be an Inguinal hernia. Both females and males may suffer from Inguinal hernia.

Femoral Hernia

This is also seen in the groin. More commonly in females than males.

Incisional Hernia

Hernia that appear post abdominal surgery is known as Incisional hernia. The location depends upon the type of incision chosen for primary surgery. Post C-section hernias are not uncommon.

Umbilical Hernia

This is a hernia of the navel. Quite commonly seen in females, especially post pregnancy. Umbilical hernia is the most common cause of disfigurement of navel region.

Epigastric Hernia

This type of hernia is seen in the mid upper portion of the abdomen. Although small they may be very painful in a few individuals.

Lumbar Hernia

These are the type of hernias seen in the outer side of the abdomen, especially after open kidney surgeries.

Spigelian Hernia

These are hernias through a potential weak site in the abdominal cavity. Seen in the outer part, these are not very common ones.

Paraesophageal and Diagphragmatic hernia

When the stomach migrates to chest cavity through the diaphragm, it results in diaphragmatic hernia. Reflux and heartburn are the most common symptoms associated with it.

Parastomal hernias

When the abdominal contents, mainly stomach, migrates to chest cavity through diaphragm results in diaphragmatic hernia. Reflux and heartburn are the most common symptoms associated with it.

Diastasis of recti

Pendulous and flabby abdomen is common for females after delivery mainly occurs, because the muscles are separated in the midline. It causes a cosmetically poor looking belly, backache, constipation and poor exercise tolerance. It can be corrected surgically with minimally invasive approach.

What are the symptoms of hernia?

1.Swelling in the groin or abdominal wall which increases on prolonged standing, coughing, sneezing or even a good laugh!
2. Pinching or dull aching pain in the swelling.
3. Constant pulling sensation inside the abdomen.
4. Constipation
5. Backache due to poor posture

Why hernias need treatment?

Although majority of the hernias remains symptom free there always is a chance that the content of hernia (intestine) may get obstructed and if not treated appropriately in time, it may lead to loss of its blood supply!

How are hernias treated?

There are no magic pills for hernias! Surgery is the only way out to treat a hernia. In current world, laparo-endoscopic approaches have mitigated the fear involved with open surgery such as long cuts, prolonged and severe pain, delayed recovery, loss of work and wages. Using a mesh is gold standard followed worldwide.

before and after image of hernia surgery on a patient
results after performing successful hernia operation on a patient

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