What is Hernia?
A hernia is a gap or space in the strong tissue that holds muscles in place. A hernia occurs when the inside layers of the abdominal muscle have weakened, resulting in a bulge or tear.
In the same way that an inner tube pushes through a damaged tire, the inner lining of the abdomen pushes through the weakened area of the abdominal wall to form a small balloon like sac. This can allow a loop of intestine or abdominal tissue to push into the sac.
Hernia can occur in both men and women. A person may be born with a hernia (congenital) or develop one over time (acquired).
The common areas where hernias occur are in the groin (inguinal), belly button (umbilical), and the site of a previous surgery (incisional).
Who are at Risk of Having Hernia?
The wall of the abdomen has natural areas of potential weakness. Hernias can develop at these or other areas due to heavy strain on the abdominal wall due to lifting heavy weights, sports, aging, injury, an old incision or a weakness present from birth.
Anyone can develop a hernia at any age. Most hernias in children are congenital. In adults, a natural weakness or strain from heavy lifting, persistent coughing, difficulty with bowel movements or urination can cause the abdominal wall to weaken or separate.
What are the Symptoms of Hernia?
Common symptoms caused by a hernia are:
- Bulge under the skin
- Pain or discomfort when lifting heavy objects
- Strain during urination or bowel movements, or during prolonged standing or sitting
The pain may be sharp and immediate or may be a dull ache that gets worse towards the end of the day. Severe, continuous pain, redness, and tenderness are signs that the hernia may be entrapped or strangulated. Another sign of this is if the bulge used to come and go, but is now stuck and cannot be reduced. These symptoms are a cause for concern and you should immediately contact your physician or surgeon.
What are the Treatment Options for Hernia?
A hernia does not get better over time, nor will it go away by itself. There are no exercises or physical therapy regimen that can treat hernia.
A hernia may be detected by your doctor on a routine physical examination. It may lead to potentially serious problems, such as intestinal obstruction or strangulated bowel, and may require emergency surgery. Laparoscopic surgery is a popular method to treat a hernia.
What is Laparoscopic Hernia Repair?
Laparoscopic Hernia Repair is a technique to repair the defects in the abdominal wall using small incisions, telescopes and a patch. Compared to conventional surgery, laparoscopic surgery offers a shorter hospital stay, less pain after surgery, faster return to work and normal activity for most patients.
Who is Eligible for Laparoscopic Hernia Repair?
A patient’s eligibility for Laparoscopic Hernia Repair is determined by a surgeon after a thorough examination.
The procedure may not be suitable for some patients who have had previous abdominal surgery, prostate surgery, or underlying medical conditions.