You develop a hernia when a part of an organ or fatty tissue in your body protrudes through the cavity containing it
Hernias occur due to a range of causes, from family history and smoking to pregnancy, age and premature birth
take care to avoid actions and a lifestyle that may cause a hernia
You develop a hernia when a part of an organ or fatty tissue in your body protrudes through the cavity containing it. The weak points through which the contents of the cavity herniate are called fascia. Depending on where the hernia occurs, for instance, in the groin or abdominal wall, the hernia is given a different name. Among the most common types of hernia are inguinal, femoral, incisional, hiatal, and umbilical or belly button hernia.
However, not everyone is prone to hernia in the same way. For instance, femoral hernia, in which part of your bowel or tissue pushes through into the femoral canal, at the upper thigh, is a common hernia in women. Likewise, inguinal hernia, found in the groin area, in which part of your intestine or bladder protrudes into the inguinal canal is a common hernia in men.
Hernias occur due to a range of causes, from family history and smoking to pregnancy, age and premature birth. When it occurs due to physical activity, it is sometimes called a sports hernia. Irrespective of the cause, when a hernia occurs it doesn’t disappear without care. Sometimes surgery is a must. To know more about the types of hernia, their causes, symptoms, and treatment, read on.
Also called a groin hernia, an inguinal hernia occurs when soft tissue, often that of the intestine, protrudes through a weak point in the abdominal wall. The tissue often pushes through into the inguinal canal in the groin and over 10 million cases of inguinal hernia arise in India every year. This is one of the more common hernia in men.
Inguinal hernia may be caused due to:
Common symptoms of inguinal hernia include:
Treatment is not always necessary and at times a supportive device may be used to push the protruding tissue back. If the pain intensifies or the hernia grows, surgery can repair the weakened abdominal wall. You can undergo open or laparoscopic inguinal herniorrhaphy.
A hiatal hernia is caused when your stomach’s top part juts into your chest cavity through the diaphragm. The opening through which the hernia occurs is called the oesophageal hiatus. More than 1 million cases of hiatal hernia occur in India every year. Hiatal hernias are of two types, sliding and fixed. Sliding hernias are more common.
A hiatal hernia may be caused due to:
Common symptoms of hiatal hernia include:
In cases of acid reflux or heartburn, medications like antacids and proton-pump inhibitors can work. Weight loss initiatives, lifestyle changes and a new diet can also help. In case further treatment is required you may need to undergo a hernia repair, Nissen fundoplication or laparoscopic surgery.
Also called belly button hernia, umbilical hernia occurs when intestinal or other tissues within the abdominal cavity protrude through a weak point in the abdominal wall muscles at the belly button. Many infants, up to 20%, are born with belly button hernia; however, this can occur anytime in life. Most umbilical hernias close on their own, by the age of 4 to 5 and do not cause pain. There are over 1 million cases of umbilical hernia in India each year.
Umbilical hernia arises due to the failure of the abdominal wall muscle, which allows the umbilical cord to pass through, to join back or close completely. The hernia may arise due to:
Common symptoms of umbilical hernia include:
Most umbilical hernias close by the time the child is 5 years old. However, if it does not heal by itself or with supportive care and becomes stuck, doctors may suggest surgery by the age 4.
When a part of your intra-abdominal tissue protrudes through a fragile spot in the abdominal wall into the femoral canal, a femoral hernia occurs. The femoral canal lies below the inguinal ligament and hence, a femoral hernia would be seen below an inguinal hernia. This is a more common hernia in women, rather than in men. However, a majority of groin-related hernias are inguinal and not femoral.
A femoral hernia may be caused due to:
Common symptoms of femoral hernia include:
No treatment may be required for small hernias, and supportive care may suffice. However, in case of a great level of discomfort, your doctor may suggest hernia repair surgery. The surgeries are of 2 types: open and laparoscopic.
A ventral hernia occurs when intestinal or abdominal tissue pushes through a weak spot in the abdominal wall. These occur along the midline of the abdominal wall. Belly button hernia is, in fact, one type of ventral hernia. Epigastric hernia, which occurs in the region between the navel and breastbone, is another. Incisional hernia which form where previous surgical incisions have been made are a third. Occurring in the lower abdomen, the spigelian hernia is also called a lateral ventral hernia.
Ventral hernia may arise due to:
Common symptoms of ventral hernia include:
Treatment for ventral hernia includes surgery. This eliminates the risk of the hernia enlarging and causing serious medical complications. Surgery for ventral hernia can be open surgery, laparoscopic surgery, mesh placement surgery or even robotic hernia repair.
Now that you are aware of the various types of hernia, it is important to note that, often, hernia causes no particular symptoms to arise. Similarly, in terms of treatment, sometimes surgery is required and at other times lifestyle modifications may suffice. Nonetheless diagnosing and, especially, treating a hernia is a process, during which it is best to consult periodically with a medical professional.
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