Sometimes, a fatty tissue or part of an internal organ squeezes through an opening in the surrounding muscle. This phenomenon results in hernia occurs. Most commonly, the internal tissue protrudes through a weak spot in the muscular wall of your lower abdomen. However, hernias may develop in many other locations in your body.
A hernia patient may observe a lump or swelling in the stomach region but feel no pain. That’s because most hernias cause no pain and only appear as a bulge. However, increased pressure in the abdominal muscle wall –due to obesity, persistent coughing, or pregnancy –may enlarge the hernia.
Some hernias are present at birth time and may go away before the infant is one year old. Adults are also susceptible to develop hernia. Some of the common types of hernias include:
Men are five times more susceptible to inguinal hernia than women. It is the most common hernia accounting to 75% of all hernias. An inguinal hernia occurs when the intestine or in rare cases the bladder, protrudes into the groin through the inguinal canal.
Pregnant and obese women are more likely to develop a femoral hernia. When the intestine enters the canal containing large blood vessels (the femoral artery and vein), it results in hernia. The canal is located between the abdomen and thigh. Thus, the bulge appears in the upper thigh, groin, or hip.
This type of hernia occurs when a part of the stomach slips upward through openings in the diaphragm and extends into the chest. Hiatal hernia is linked with “gastroesophageal reflux disease” (GERD) that causes heartburn.
It occurs when the intestine bulges into the abdominal wall through the navel. An umbilical hernia is mostly found in newborns and disappears with time. However, it may develop in obese men and women with multiple pregnancies.
33 percent of patients who undergo abdominal surgery are likely to develop an incisional hernia. It occurs when the muscle underlying the treated area pulls apart, letting the internal structures pass through the weak spot.
Not all hernias are painful or show visible symptoms. In most cases, the patient only experiences a lump. Or the skin surrounding the bulge becomes sensitive. Likewise, not all hernias need surgeries. However, a hernia becomes “incarcerated” when tissue or intestine gets trapped in the abdominal wall.
In extreme situations, incarceration may strangulate your organs. Thus, the blood supply to your intestine and tissues is cut off, thereby causing the intestine to die. The condition calls for immediate medical help and surgery.
The purpose of a surgical hernia repair is to relieve the pain and push the bulge back to the right place, thereby strengthening the muscle area. Hernia repair is one of the most common and shortest surgical procedures in the world. The surgical options for enlarged hernias include:
For open surgery, the patient is given general anesthesia. The surgeon makes an incision of around 2.5 to 3 inches around the surrounding the hernia. The doctor may push the hernia back into the abdomen, tie it off, or gently remove it.
Once the procedure is over, the surgeon closes the area with stitches. In the case of large hernias, doctors place a piece of mesh over the hole for extra support. Thus, the mesh keeps the hernia in place, reinforcing the weakened muscle.
Minimally Invasive Surgery
In minimally invasive surgery, also called laparoscopy, the surgeon inflates a harmless gas in the abdomen. The gas helps the doctor to look at the structure and organs closely. The surgeon then goes for a series of small incisions near the hernia.
He/she then inserts a thin tube with a small camera (laparoscope) into one of the cuts. The captured images serve as a guide for the surgeon to treat the hernia. The laparoscopy is performed with general anesthesia, and people tend to recover sooner with this procedure as compared to open surgery.
Whether you require traditional open surgical procedure or minimally invasive surgery, Lenox Hill Surgeons is the right place in NYC. Our compassionate team of surgeons meets the highest ethical and professional standards. Book your appointment today and consult the best surgeons in the town.