A hernia occurs when part of an internal organ or body part protrudes through an opening into another area where it ordinarily should not be located. There are many different types of hernias depending on the location it found.
Some hernias are present at birth, while others develop during adulthood. Hernias may enlarge due to increased pressure inside the abdomen, such as during straining, persistent coughing, obesity or pregnancy.
Many organs or parts of organs can herniated through the numerous openings in the body, list can be very exhaustive the most common are Visceral Hernia as listed below.
Different types of Visceral Hernia according to location
- Femoral hernia: As the name suggests this type of hernia causes a bulge in the upper thigh just below the groin. The passage between the abdomen and the thigh containing the large blood vessels namely the femoral artery and vein gets herniated. It is more common in women than men.
- Inguinal hernia: The natural passageway through the abdominal wall is called the inguinal canal. A protrusion of abdominal cavity content such as portion of intestine or internal fat through this canal due to a weakness is called Inguinal Hernia and is common among men.
- Incisional hernia: Technically this type of hernia is due to incision in the abdominal area owing to a previous surgery. The skin may heal but the weakness in the abdominal wall in and around the area of surgery may cause the muscle to be pulled apart resulting in hernia.
- Hiatal or Hiatus hernia: The upper part of the stomach pushing up through the diaphragm is known as Hiatal Hernia. This is primarily due to a tear or weakness in the diaphragm.
- Ventral hernia: Abdominal hernias which may develop at birth or due to partial closure of abdominal wall are called ventral hernias. They may develop due to an incision done during abdominal surgery, which may not have healed properly.
- Epigastric hernia: A weakness or opening of the muscles or bones between the breastbone and the navel may result in protrusions or fat bulges through it. Such herniations are called epigastric hernias.
- Umbilical hernia: Generally occurring as a birth defect this type of hernia is a protrusion of the intestine or fat bulges through the abdominal wall under the navel or belly button. In adults it may develop in obese or pregnant women.
- Sudden, severe pain
- Vomiting, Nausea, Fever
- Difficulty passing stools (constipation) or wind
- The hernia becomes firm or tender, or cannot be pushed back in
A number of factors will need to be taken into consideration for Surgery
- The type of hernia – some types of hernia are more likely to become strangulated, or cause a bowel obstruction, than others.
- The content of your hernia – if the hernia contains a part of your bowel, muscle or other tissue, there may be a risk of strangulation or obstruction.
- Your symptoms and the impact on your daily life – surgery may be recommended if your symptoms are severe or getting worse, or if the hernia is affecting your ability to carry out your normal activities.
- Your general health – surgery may be too much of a risk if your general health is poor.
Although not all hernias need to be operated on, hernias that cause symptoms or that become larger should be repaired by a surgeon. The technique used to repair your hernia depends on its type, size and location.
- Open surgical: repair closes the hernia using sutures, mesh, or both, and the surgical wound in the skin is closed with sutures, staples, or surgical glue.
- Laparoscopic: repair is used for repeat operations to avoid previous scars, and while usually more expensive, is less likely to cause complications such as infection.
The hernia is repaired by a small camera and a light introduced through a tube. Surgical instruments are introduced through a further small incision. The abdomen is inflated with gas to improve visualization and space and the whole operation is performed under general anesthesia and recovery is much faster.
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