A hernia refers to a condition in which an internal part of the body protrudes through the surrounding muscle or tissue. A hernia mostly occurs between the chest and hip or in groin area. It usually appears without any particular symptoms, although a kind of swelling may be seen in the place of occurrence.
There are different types of hernia. The most common ones are presented as below:
- Inguinal hernia: the inguinal hernia is known as the most common type of hernias that develops as a swelling and mostly occurs in the groin or the abdominal wall if the small intestine or the bladder pushes through it. Generally, men experience this type of the hernia.
- Femoral hernia: femoral hernia is associated with the groin hernias. It happens as a painful swollen tissue when the intestine carries the femoral artery into the inner upper part of the thigh close to the groin. Femoral hernia is most common type among women.
- Umbilical hernia: umbilical hernia occurs when a part of the intestine squeezes through the tissue in or close to the umbilicus. Mostly, women during their pregnancy, the infants particularly those who were born earlier than the expected time and those under the age of 6 months old experience umbilical hernia.
- Incisional hernia: incisional hernia refers to a hernia caused by former incision of the intestine, organs or other tissues produced through a prior surgery.
- Hiatal hernia: a hiatal hernia describes a situation in which the upper part of the stomach swells through the hiatus, an opening in the diaphragm.
The main causes of hernias are considered pressure and weakened muscles that can be congenital or due to the aging process. However, there are the other factors which lead to hernias including:
- Lifting heavy objects;
- Diarrhea or constipation;
- Persistent coughing or sneezing;
- Using tobacco products and smoking;
- Doing heavy physical activity;
- Having several birth-giving.
Hernias may reveal no symptoms. However, the most common symptoms of hernia include:
- Pain in the lower abdomen;
- Chest pain;
- Acid reflux;
- Problems in swallowing.
Hernias mostly aren’t considered serious and life-threatening problems. However, they are not treated by their own. Depending on size and severity of the symptoms, there are different treatment options including lifestyle changes, medications and surgery available for hernias. Sometimes, the surgery must be performed to avoid the condition from getting worse.
The two main types of surgery include the open surgery and laparoscopic surgery. The open surgery involves a cut at the place of hernia into the body to repair the swollen tissue and the weakened muscle and to put them together. Laparoscopic surgery is performed through some incisions done outside the abdomen or the groin.