A lump in the abdomen, an uncomfortable pain in the groin area - could this be hernia? The term hernia is most often used to describe hernias of the lower torso, a lump in the abdomen. Reason being, most hernias occur when a piece of intestine slips through a weakness in the abdominal wall. The weakness in the abdominal wall could be congenital i.e. present at birth or acquired much later in life. Abdominal hernia can also be inherited.
Here is information about abdominal hernia, its causes, symptoms, and diagnosis. Find the basis which determines abdominal hernia repair. What determines the choice - abdominal hernia belt, abdominal hernia surgery or the abdominal hernia mesh? Check out advice given by Medical practitioners to prevent hernia from developing or recurring once more.
Looking at the anatomy of human body, we know that the muscles are strong and tight enough to keep the intestines and organs in place. It is only when an organ or fatty tissue squeezes or pushes through a hole or a weak spot in the muscular structure of the abdominal wall, abdominal hernia occurs. Abdominal hernias are classified as either abdominal wall or groin hernias. It is the position or place which decides the type.
Types of abdominal-wall hernia
Spigelian hernia or lateral ventral hernia
Incisional hernia or ventral hernia
Groin hernia includes inguinal hernia and femoral hernia.
Abdominal hernia symptoms
The primary hernia symptom is the lump in the lower abdomen or groin area. The lump can be seen and felt as well. Yet, all lumps, protrusions or swelling in the abdomen or groin area need not necessarily be a hernia symptom but could be the result of an enlarged lymph node or any other abnormal growth. It is best for the doctor to evaluate.
The lump may not necessarily be painful. Some hernias cause no pain at all. Often times, the presence of hernia is discovered during a routine medical check up. For some, the symptoms develop gradually. Additional symptoms may include the following.
Abdominal hernia repair
Abdominal hernia symptoms should prompt a visit to the doctor.A physical examination is mandatory to confirm the presence of hernia. Sometimes ultrasonography, CT scans (computerized Tomography) or MRI (nuclear magnetic resonance imaging) help make the diagnosis. If any of the tests do not provide conclusive results, diagnostic laparoscopy may be required.
As the first step, it is customary for the doctor to try and push back the lump (which is usually tissue or fat) into the abdominal cavity without causing any danger to the patient's health. On a case to case basis, the attempt proves to be successful. A lot depends on how far the lump is sticking through the abdominal wall and the intensity with which the abdominal muscles are holding it. If the attempt proves futile, a surgery will be recommended to repair abdominal hernia.
Umbilical hernia in infants goes away sans treatment within two years of age. In case, even after two, three or sometime four years, if the hernia persists, this large umbilical hernia will have to be repaired.
Other abdominal hernia types which can't be pushed back or reduced are most likely to be incarcerated or strangulated.
A hernia that has become incarcerated or strangulated is a medical emergency and abdominal hernia surgery has to be performed immediately. If the hernia is not incarcerated or strangulated, elective surgery which allows for repairing the abdominal hernia at a time convenient for the patient will be recommended.
Abdominal hernia surgery
Surgical repair of hernia is referred to as herniorrhaphy. Traditional and laparoscopic are two different herniorrhaphy procedures. Successful surgery serves three purposes. It repairs abdominal hernia, provides relief from the associated discomfort and stops the hernia from progressing.
Traditional or open repair of abdominal hernia: Herein, a small incision is made over the hernia. Small hernias are most likely to be repaired by opting for traditional herniorrphaphy. The surgery is usually performed with local and intravenous sedation. After the surgery, the protruding tissue is returned to the abdominal cavity. A mesh will be attached over the weak spot in order to strengthen the wall of the abdomen.
Laparoscopic or closed repair of abdominal hernia: Smaller incisions, less pain and earlier return to normal activities - these are the three main benefits of opting for a minimally invasive procedure such as laparoscopic abdominal hernia repair. General anesthesia or spinal anesthesia will be administered to the patient. A laparoscopic device facilitates viewing the hernia on a monitor from inside the abdominal cavity.
Three small incisions are made. Through one incision, made under the patient's belly button, the laparoscope is inserted. Two other incisions are made in the lower abdomen to insert surgical instruments. Viewing images in the monitor, the doctor repairs the abdominal hernia. Mesh is then placed over the defect to reinforce the abdominal wall.
Abdominal hernia belt
A truss or hernia belt can be worn under the clothes.The abdominal hernia belts are removable, adjustable pads that help vary the pressure. It comes with straps which are useful to adjust the tension of the belt for comfort. They are available at drug stores and also at the doctor's offices. It is absolutely important to take doctor's advice and recommendation with regard to selecting abdominal hernia belt.
The belts do not cure abdominal hernia. The purpose of using an abdominal hernia belt varies from one patient to another. The belt can be worn prior to or after abdominal hernia surgery.
Abdominal hernia care
Some types of abdominal hernia cannot be prevented. Steps can be taken to avoid further complications and to prevent recurrence. The first step is to learn about abdominal hernia and not indulge in activities that lay stress on the abdominal wall.