A Complete Guide on Hernias and Its Variants

A hernia usually forms between the chest and the hips. Usually, it causes few or no symptoms.

Dr. Sridhara V, Head of Surgical Gastroenterology and General Surgery at Kaveri Hospitals, Electronic City, Bengaluru, has thoroughly discussed hernias and their various forms.

A patient has what is called a hernia, when the inside of the body pushes through a weakness/defect in the abdominal muscles.

Hernias usually occur between the chest and hips. It usually causes no or very few symptoms. The lump may be pushed back or disappear when the patient lies down. Coughing or straining may reveal a lump.


  1. Inguinal hernias: Inguinal hernias occur when fatty tissue or a portion of the intestine protrudes through the groin. It can be seen on one or both sides. It is the most common type of hernia and it mainly affects men. It can be seen at any age.
  2. Femoral hernia: A femoral hernia also occurs when fatty tissue or part of your intestine protrudes into the groin — the upper part of the inner thigh. Less common than inguinal hernias and affects women more.
  3. Umbilical hernia: An umbilical hernia occurs when fatty tissue or part of your intestines protrudes through the belly button. In babies, if the part of the abdomen through which the placenta passes does not seal properly after birth. Due to repeated pressure on the abdomen in adults – pregnancy and obesity.

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Other types

  1. Incisional hernia – A lump develops through a previous surgical scar.
  2. Epigastric hernias – where the fatty tissue opens between the umbilicus and the bottom of your breastbone.
  3. Diaphragmatic hernias – where your abdominal organs move through the diaphragm opening into your chest – develop after injury; It can also affect babies if their diaphragm has not developed properly in the womb.
  4. Hiatus hernias– Occurs when part of the stomach pushes into the chest, squeezing a hole in the diaphragm along with the esophagus, usually seen in adults and the elderly. Causes heartburn and vomiting.. Surgery is usually laparoscopic fundoplication
  5. Muscle herniation – where part of the muscle protrudes through the tissue; They usually occur in the leg muscles as a result of a sports injury.

of assessment

The doctor will identify the hernia by examining the affected area. The patient is referred for an ultrasound scan to confirm and assess the extent of the problem. Once the diagnosis is confirmed, the surgeon will determine if surgery is necessary to repair the hernia.

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For any symptomatic hernia, at any age, surgery is the only option, performed as a day-care procedure. The benefits and risks of the procedure are discussed in detail before the operation.

Considerations when deciding whether surgery is appropriate:

Type of hernia – Some types of hernia are more likely to strangulate or obstruct the bowel than others. There may be a risk of strangulation or obstruction surgery may be recommended if your symptoms are severe or worsening, or if the hernia is affecting your ability to perform normal activities. , go to the emergency room if you have a hernia and develop any of the following symptoms:

  • Sudden, severe pain in the abdomen and hernia area
  • Difficulty passing stool or wind. Produce frequent vomiting.
  • The hernia becomes firm and painful

These symptoms may mean that:

A piece of bowel has lodged in the hernia and become blocked (obstruction).

A herniated organ or tissue has cut off its blood supply (strangulation).

These are surgical emergencies and require immediate operation.

Surgery: All hernia repairs in adults usually involve the placement of non-absorbable mesh.

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  • Open surgery – where a cut is made to push the lump back into the abdomen.
  • Laparoscopy – This is less invasive, but more difficult, performed by experienced surgeons.

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