What are hernias, what causes them and how can you treat them?
A hernia is the abnormal protrusion of organ or fatty tissue through a weakness of the muscle in the abdominal wall. The most common forms of hernia are inguinal (groin), umbilical (belly button), incisional (from a former hernia surgery), femoral (outer groin) and hiatal (upper stomach).
In rarer cases, certain types of hernias can result in severe complications. A strangulated hernia occurs when a hernia cuts off blood supply to the intestines and tissue in the abdomen. When the herniated organ or tissue gets trapped, blood supply will be cut off by the wall of muscle, resulting in great pain and potentially leading to tissue or organ failure.
There are two types of hernias - congenital and acquired. Each type of hernia has a different form of development.
These are developed during the development of the foetus and are typically present at birth. However, some congenital hernias may be harder to detect and not diagnosed until years later.
Acquired hernias develop when the muscles, or fascia, are weakened or damaged. As a result, the body’s healing, tissue breakdown and repair is disrupted, which leads to the organ being pushed out of the muscular wall.
Acquired hernias may be caused by movements and lifestyle habits such as:
The most common symptom of a hernia is a visible bulge in the affected area, typically at the abdomen or groin. Depending on the size and location of the hernia, symptoms may include pressure, a persistent cough, heartburn and difficulty swallowing. Symptoms of serious cases of hernias may include extreme pain, vomiting and constipation. If needed, ultrasound tests or CT scans can be scheduled for greater clarity and confirmation.
Not all hernias require immediate treatment or hernia surgery; and treatment is dependent on the size and symptoms of the hernia.
However, when hernia surgery is needed, it can be performed by a hernia surgeon in two ways – tissue repair or mesh repair.
This involves pushing the affected and protruding organ back into its rightful place before repairing the muscle tissue. The hernia sac is removed afterwards, and the sides of the muscle opening are stitched shut.
Mesh repair is where a temporary mesh or permanent mesh is used to provide muscle support and act as a wall to prevent the organ from squeezing through the muscle wall. This alleviates pressure on the muscle and acts as a strengthening scaffold for muscle growth.
We tailor our treatments based on your lifestyle requirements and healthcare needs. At our colorectal clinic, we believe in providing personalized care as it allows for better surgical outcomes and creates a supportive environment for our patients.
For a detailed consultation, contact us at 6262 1226 or fill up the contact form below.