What is Inguinal Hernia?
An inguinal hernia is a medical condition in which tissue, such as a part of the intestine or other organs, protrudes through a weak abdominal wall. The quintessential inguinal hernia symptoms include a bulge that appears due to the hernia being painful, especially when the individual coughs, bends or lifts a heavy object.
Inguinal hernias are not severe, but it is essential to understand that they do not cure or correct themselves. So, to avoid serious complications, inguinal hernias must be treated at the earliest.
Inguinal herniae are seen in 2% to 3% of male babies and less than 1% of female babies. one in four men are likely to develop an inguinal hernia at some point in their life. Most people who suggest from inguinal hernia are over the age of 40.
Abdominal surgery can make you more likely to develop a direct inguinal hernia. A family history of this condition raises your odds, too.
Inguinal Hernia Symptoms
Characteristic signs and inguinal hernia symptomsare:
- Pain in the abdomen when you cough, sneeze or bend to life something
- Pressure, weakness, or heaviness in the groin
- Swelling around testicles in men
- A burning or aching sensation at the site of the bulge
The signs of inguinal hernia in children and newborns are slightly different from those experienced by adults. These include:
- An abdominal bulge when the child is crying, straining or coughing.
- Lesser than normal appetite
In older children, an inguinal hernia may be more apparent when the child strains during bowel movements, coughs or stands for a long time.
What Causes Inguinal Hernia?
Though the exact cause of inguinal hernias is unknown, they are usually due to a weak abdominal wall. The wall’s weakness can be present at birth or appear later in life, usually with age.
A few risk factors that may increase your risk of developing an inguinal hernia are:
- Lifting heavy objects
- Fluid or pressure in the abdomen
- Repeated straining during bowel movements or urination
- Chronic cough
- A family history of inguinal hernia following an abdominal surgery can increase your odds of developing the condition.
- People with a history of smoking are also at a higher risk of developing an inguinal hernia, along with other health problem
Anybody can get an inguinal hernia, but men are at a higher risk. People with a history of hernias are at a greater risk for another hernia. When an individual gets a hernia for the second time, it usually occurs on the opposite side.
What is the Best Treatment for Inguinal Hernia?
The treatment for inguinal hernia depends upon its size and severity. If your hernia is small and not bothering you, your doctor may want to wait, see, and monitor it regularly. In some cases, a supportive truss may be prescribed to help keep symptoms in check. If an inguinal hernia has been detected in a child, the doctor may apply manual pressure to reduce the bulge before surgery.
Surgery is the only effective and long-term treatment for inguinal hernia. There are two types of inguinal surgeries– open hernia repair and minimally-invasive hernia repair.
Open Hernia Repair
This type of hernia surgery is performed under local or general anaesthesia. The surgeon makes an incision in the groin and pushes the protruding tissue back into your abdomen. The weak area in the abdomen is sewn and sometimes reinforced with a mesh. The incision is closed using staples or sutures.
Your doctor will recommend you move about after the surgery, but it may take a few weeks or months before you can continue your regular activities.
Minimally-Invasive Hernia Repair
As the name suggests, this procedure is minimally invasive and performed under general anaesthesia. During this type of hernia repair, the surgeon makes many small incisions in the abdomen and laparoscopic instruments are inserted to repair your hernia. Gas is used to inflate the abdomen and improve visibility. The synthetic mesh is inserted through one of the laparoscopic holes or incisions made in the abdomen.
Since this procedure is minimally-invasive, you are less likely to have pain or discomfort after. You can also expect reduced scarring and return to normal activities quicker than a standard open hernia repair procedure. However, you must wait a few weeks before resuming all your usual activities.
Are there Risks of Inguinal Hernia Treatment
Inguinal hernia repairs are routine procedures that trained surgeons perform. Just as with any other surgery, there are a few risks involved in inguinal hernia surgery, including:
- Breathing trouble
- allergic reaction to anaesthesia or other medications
- Risk of recurrence
- Pain at the site
- Damage to nerves or other nearby organs
Inguinal hernia is prevalent in men, but very few women develop this condition. An inguinal hernia can be completely treated with the correct diagnosis and prompt treatment. If you think you are experiencing signs and symptoms of inguinal hernia, meet our experts at Max Healthcare. Book your appointment today!