The term “hernia” is a generic medical word for any situation in which an organ or other structure punctures through an opening in the muscle or tissue that usually holds it in place. Intestinal hernias are the most common, where part of the gut protrudes through the stomach wall.
Types Of Hernia
While there are literally dozens of hernias you can get, some are more common than others. An inguinal type is probably the most common. This occurs when part of the bowel pierces through the muscles in the abdomen, creating a lump on the surface. Usually, they occur lower down, rather than higher up. They are more common in men due to anatomical reasons and are so-called because of the form around the inguinal canal – the route the testicles take on their descent towards the scrotum during puberty. Hiatal hernias are another common type of hernia. These occur when the stomach (not the intestines) pushes out through the diaphragm into the chest category.People over the age of 50 commonly experience this type of hernia. Sometimes, it occurs because of birth defects, but more often because of lifestyle factors. You might also have a ventral type. These occur when other pieces of tissue bulge out through openings in the abdominal wall. Most are present from birth.
As you might expect, there are many causes of hernias. Usually, they develop over a period of time from an initial weakness. Some common causes of strain or muscle weakness that can lead to hernias include:
Aging is a primary cause of hernias. When they are young, muscle tissues can easily accommodate all of the body’s internal organs. But as people get older, they can become increasingly less effective at doing so. Eventually, patients reach the point where the muscle can no longer contain the tissues behind it, and they spill out.
- Damage During Surgery
According to Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, hernia is also a common surgical complication. Medical professionals may, for instance, incorrectly apply gauze or mesh, allowing internal organs to spill out.
- Being Overweight
Overweight and obesity are both risk factors. Increased abdominal pressure and tension on the muscles themselves forces them to work harder. If there is any weakness in the muscle wall, the tissue will spill through.
Constipation can also increase intra-abdominal pressure. This additional force then pushes out on the surrounding muscle, causing sections of the bowel to push through. If constipation is the cause, you may notice that your hernia sometimes gets worse and sometimes gets better. You can reduce your likelihood of developing constipation by eating sufficient calories for your weight and making sure that you get plenty of fiber in your diet. Most people should shoot for at least 40 grams per day. Getting this amount will keep your stools soft, allowing for easy transit.
- Chronic Coughing
If you cough all the time, you are also at increased risk of hernia. That’s because coughing temporarily increases the amount of pressure in your body. People with COPD, for instance, are at a much higher risk of developing it during the course of the disease.
- Congenital Condition
You may also have a hernia because of a congenital condition. Sometimes, the muscles in the stomach wall don’t completely cover the abdominal cavity, opening up later on in life. Hernias typically become visible in childhood and often require surgery to correct.
There are also a series of known risk factors that increase your likelihood of developing hernias include:
1- Cystic Fibrosis
Cystic fibrosis itself does not cause hernias. However, they are a common complication.
2- Premature Birth
People born prematurely are also at a higher risk of hernia. Researchers believe that this may be because their abdomens do not have sufficient time to form before they exit the birth canal.
Treatment Of Hernia
Your treatment options depend on the type of herniation you have and your overall state of health. At first, your doctor may recommend monitoring your condition for changes. This may include making changes to your activity, diet, and habits. Medicines may help lessen hernia symptoms.If the symptoms don’t improve or worsen, your doctor will discuss surgery. There are two types of surgical treatment. Laparoscopic surgery is less invasive. Your doctor or a surgeon will make minor cuts in the affected area to fix the hernia. The other type is Open repair surgery which requires a larger cut to have the repair done.
Living With a Hernia
While most types of hernias can be treated and corrected, it’s common for hernias to come back. In some cases, a surgical mesh can help reduce this chance of recurrence. Talk to your surgeon about the best treatment option for you and how to prevent recurring hernias.