Types of hernia
• Inguinal hernia: One of the common types of hernia. Weakness in the inguinal canal causes this type of hernia. Inguinal canal passes from the abdominal wall to the groin and contains blood vessels along with spermatic cord. About seventy-five percent of hernias are of this type and men are much more prone to inguinal hernia due to the bigger size of the inguinal canal.
• Incisional hernia: Protrusion of intestines due to weakness in the abdominal wall caused by a previous abdominal surgery. Elderly and over-weight individuals are more prone to this type.
• Femoral hernia: Protrusion occurs in the upper part of the thigh, near the groin where the femoral artery runs. It is found to be more common in women than in men.
• Umbilical hernia: The intestines protrude near the navel due to weakness of abdominal muscles. This type of hernia is common amongst newborns and gradually disappears as they age. Also affects women who are obese and who have been pregnant a number of times.
• Hiatal hernia: In this type it is the stomach and not the intestine which bulges into a natural opening of the diaphragm near to the esophagus.
• Bulges or lumps in the abdomen or groin area.
• Dull aches or feeling a “pull” in the affected area. Pain increases while doing strenuous activity.
• Bulges can be seen when the person is standing or is stretched out. A resting person will not notice any bulges.
• Muscle weakness which can be genetic, due to old age or surgery.
• Activities causing pressure on the abdomen like weight lifting, coughing and constipation. Obesity can cause hernias too.
• Vigorous exercise
• Weakened muscles due to poor nutrition or bad habits like smoking.
• Avoid any activity which causes strain or pressure on the abdomen.
• Maintain a moderate weight as obesity can cause hernias.
• Bowel problems like constipation and diarrhea needs to be treated as they put pressure on the abdomen muscle.
• Stop smoking as excessive coughing can lead to hernia.
• Eat a high-fiber diet and drink plenty of water to keep bowel movement smooth.
Not all hernias need to be treated as it depends on how it is really affecting you. Depending on the symptoms and size of the hernia surgery may be needed. Strangulated hernias where the bulging intestines get stuck in the gap of the abdominal wall need to be treated urgently to prevent any aggravation. Traditional surgeries or less invasive surgery like laparoscopy are performed. Mesh plugs are patched into the weakened abdominal walls stopping the protrusion all together. Recovery time after the surgery is less and you can leave the hospital on the same day.
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