Hernia is kind of a protrusion or bulge that occurs when a tissues inside the body bulges through an area. The area through which the bulge occurs is typically a weaker point in groin, abdomen, near stomach etc.
There are 6 types of hernia:
- Femoral Hernia
- Inguinal Hernia
- Epigastric Hernia
- Hiatal Hernia
- Incisional Hernia
- Umbilical Hernia
Femoral hernia occurs when tissue pushes through a weak point in the (right) groin. This may not be seen when you lie down but can be felt like a lump otherwise. Sometimes, this lump can be pushed up/inside. This lump can appear when you cough. Femoral Hernia is seen more in women than in men.
When you see a lump in your groin, you need to get to your nearest doctor because; femoral artery and veins lie very close to such lumps. As the lump grows, that can squeeze the artery and vein effectively blocking blood supply to your leg. Femoral Hernia is usually treated with a surgery.
When some intestines or fat from the abdomen descends into the lower abdomen/groin area through the inguinal canal, the conditions is called Inguinal Hernia. Usually after the reproductive organs descend, this canal should close but if the closure doesn’t happen properly or is weak, the odds of the fatty tissue and intestines descending increase leading to inguinal hernia.
In some cases, the fatty tissue and intestines can descend all the way into scrotum disrupting the functioning of testicles. Inguinal Hernia hurts especially when you cough, bend or try to lift weights. Our doctors in our Chennai laser gastro clinic recommend surgery to fix the inguinal canal.
Epigastric region is an area above the belly button and below the rib cage of a person. When fatty tissue protrudes through the area and forms a bulge, this is called Epigastric Hernia. The bump can grow and become large in few people. In most cases, the bulge will be clearly visible in normal conditions. If not, it will be seen when you cough or sneeze or laugh. Pain and tenderness in the area is common.
“High fever, difficulty urinating are commonly seen symptoms in people suffering from epigastric hernia” says Dr. Karthik Gunasekaran from Chennai Laser Gastroenterology Clinic, Chennai.
In our body, there exists a diaphragm (esophageal hiatus) , a division/separating tissue between the lungs and the lower parts (stomach, intestines etc) of the body. When a part of the upper stomach bulges and moves up into the lungs region through the diaphragm, this condition is called ‘Hiatal hernia’. People suffering from Hiatal Hernia will most often suffer from acidity/acid reflux.
Some people are born with this condition while many others develop as they age. Sliding Hernia and Paraesophageal Hernia are two types of Hiatal Hernia. Obesity, inflammation of oesophagus (food pipe), weak stomach muscles are some reasons why hiatal hernia occurs.
When a person undergoes a stomach surgery where an incision had to be made right near the middle of the stomach, he/she is at risk of developing Incisional hernia. In cases when the incision doesn’t heal well, the underlying tissues can grow through the incision area resulting in bulge. Nearly 33% of the people who undergo surgery in the stomach region are at risk of developing Incisional hernia.
Incisional hernia should not be confused with Ventral Hernia. A ventral hernia also occurs in the same area but not necessarily in those who underwent a surgery. So, every ventral hernia cannot be called Incisional. Apart from the bulge, the individual may see foul smelling drainage of pus through the area where incision is made.
Umbilicus refers to belly button. When a tissue inside the body bulges through the belly button area, it is termed as Umbilical Hernia. Umbilical Hernia constitutes to 10% of all those suffering from hernia. The bulge will usually be visible and can hurt when you cough or laugh or sneeze.
Treatment of hernia
Hernia doesn’t go away on their own, at least in most of the cases. Though some may be pushed inside, they don’t tend to recede without medical intervention. It is better to get treated hernia in the initial stages before it develops into a strangulated area that can possibly cut off blood supply to other parts of the body such as leg, testicles etc depending on its type.
In order to stop from hernia recurring, surgical treatment for hernia will be most preferred options wherein the weak area can be blocked with stitches or foreign material as needed.