WHAT IS A HERNIA?
A hernia is an external protrusion in a weakened or defected abdominal wall, caused by a part of an organ, intestine or fatty tissue. Hernias differ according to the location and include:
- Inguinal Hernia
- Femoral Hernia
- Umbilical Hernia
- Hiatal Hernia
- Ventral Hernia
HERNIA SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS
These bulges formed by the hernial protrusions can be painful, especially when you cough, bend over or lift a heavy object.
Sometimes the hernia can become strangulated, cutting off blow flow to the surrounding tissue. This condition is life-threatening and requires immediate surgery.
The signs and symptoms include:
- Nausea or vomiting
- Absence of gases
- Constant pain
COMMON HERNIA CAUSES
Abdominal wall weakness is the main cause of almost every hernia, either due to a birth defect or acquired later in life. Other risk factors include:
- Family and personal hernia history
- Chronic coughing
- Premature birth
- Male gender
Most hernia cases are not life-threatening. However, your physician might recommend surgery if you are experiencing constant pain and discomfort.BEFORE SURGERY
You will be required to undergo a series of medical tests before you are cleared for surgery.DURING SURGERY
The hernia can be resolved using two main techniques:
- Open hernia repairAfter a small incision is made in your abdomen, the protruding tissue is repositioned and the abdominal wall defect is repaired.
- Laparoscopic hernia repairA surgical camera and other instruments are inserted into your abdomen via small incisions to allow for easier and quicker repair of the abdominal wall defect.
In most cases, your doctor will ask you to be as active and mobile as possible after your surgery. Pain killers will be prescribed to ease any pain or discomfort. Some patients can be discharged as early as the day after their surgery.
It might take about 2-3 weeks to return to normal levels of activity after your surgery. Laparoscopic hernia repair might significantly reduce your recovery time.
Make sure to follow all instructions given by your doctors, particularly those related to your wound hygiene.