All About Hernias: Understanding the Basics
Hernias are more common than you may think. About 20 million hernias are repaired every year, and not all of them are completely addressed. Some people live their whole lives with hernia, as they are not necessarily bothered by the symptoms.
But what exactly is a hernia, and how do you get one? Most importantly, how do you treat a hernia? Does it pass on its own, or do you need hernia surgery? Read this blog to gain a better understanding of hernias and how to approach this condition.
What Is a Hernia?
Hernias happen when an organ begins to push through a tissue or muscle opening, escaping the “sac” that is holding it in place. For instance, you may have a weakened section in the abdominal wall, leading to a tear. Your intestines may break through that point, leading to the formation of a hernia.
Its cause is generally muscle strain or weakness, the hernia developing either over time or quickly. Sometimes, the hernia is congenital or caused by aging. For instance, if you were born prematurely, are older, or have chronic coughing, you are more likely to develop a hernia. Hernias are not life-threatening conditions, but they do not get fixed on their own. Sometimes, you will need to go through surgery to prevent further tears and future complications. For instance, a hernia may become a serious condition when the tissue becomes blocked in the rupture, unable to go back.
This can be very painful if it happens. In severe cases, it may lead to necrosis as the blood supply is stopped. Hernias tend to get worse with time, which is why they need to be addressed with hernia repair.
Symptoms of a Hernia
Depending on the hernia, you may experience a series of symptoms or no symptoms at all. Generally, the telltale sign of a hernia is that you will have a visible bulge or lump underneath your skin. This lump will become more prominent when you engage in certain activities or may disappear when you are lying on your back.
Certain hernias can cause no pain, whereas others may lead to discomfort or pain. Depending on the hernia, you may only feel the lump when you are coughing, bending down, or standing up. Some types of hernias such as hiatal hernias have a specific set of symptoms such as chest pain, trouble swallowing, or heartburn. Other hernias may not have any symptoms whatsoever.
One thing to keep in mind is that hernias in women are often more concealed, and they are only diagnosed because of a routine check. This is why you should have Dr. Patrick Moore take a look at you the moment you notice any potential symptoms.
Types of Hernia
Depending on their location, hernias may be of different types. These are the most common types of hernias that people have to address:
- Inguinal Hernia:Found in the inner groin area where the tissue – generally the intestine or the bladder – begins pushing through a weaker layer in your groin muscle.
- Femoral Hernia:A less common type of hernia that happens in the femoral canal of your groin.
- Hiatal Hernia:In this case, the stomach is bulging through your chest, in an area where the stomach connects to the esophagus.
- Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia:This is a congenital defect where the diaphragm does not close properly, causing the organs to poke through.
- Incisional Hernia:Usually occurs at the site where you’ve previously had surgery done after the site did not heal properly.
- Ventral Hernia:Any type of hernia that happens on the front wall of your abdomen.
- Perineal Hernia:It occurs when your organs begin pushing through a weakness of the pelvic floor.
Some types of hernias are less common than others. For instance, you are more likely to have a ventral hernia than a perineal hernia, the latter being very rare. However, each type of hernia can usually be treated, whether surgically or non-surgically.
The Bottom Line
Not every type of hernia can be prevented and, sadly, this condition does not go away on its own. Some practices can help you remain in good health, but once the hernia appears, you need to get it treated. So, if you notice any symptoms of a hernia, make sure to schedule an appointment with Dr. Patrick Moore.
For more information about hernias, you can contact Dr. Patrick Moore at951-477-5700. He would be more than happy to clear up any of your questions.