Understanding Hernias

Understanding Hernias

Hernias, or the medical condition where a part of an organ is displaced and protrudes through the wall of the cavity containing it.  There are approximately one million hernia cases per year. Out of those one million cases, eight hundred thousand of those are fixed through surgery.  Not all hernias need surgery. If they aren’t causing you pain or discomfort then you may be able to wait on having surgery. Your stomach wall won’t just heal itself, so for your hernia to be completely resolved surgical intervention will be needed.  Though sometimes if the hernia is small enough and is not symptomatic they can be left alone.

There are five different types of hernias:    There are inguinal, incisional, femoral, umbilical, hiatal.

The different types depends on where the hernia is located.  

  • Inguinal hernias are when a small part of your intestines push through the stomach wall.
  • Incisional hernias are when tissue pushes through the wall at the site of a previous surgical incision.  
  • Femoral hernias are tissue that pushes its way through the wall of the groin or muscle wall area.
  • Umbilical hernias happen when the intestines stick through the umbilical opening of the abdominal muscles.
  • The last type of hernia is hiatal hernias and they occur when the stomach pushes through the top of your diagram and pushes into your chest cavity.  

Inguinal Hernias

Inguinal hernias are the most common type of hernia.  Three out of four groin hernias end up being inguinal. Babies and adults can get this type of hernia. It is less common in women due to the fact that the uterus is between the intestines and the abdominal wall.  Babies can get this hernia if their abdominal wall doesn’t close entirely while they are developing. You cannot prevent your baby from getting this type of hernia.  It just happens when the abdominal wall is weak. To help prevent it from happening though you can make sure to lift heavy objects with your legs and to try not to strain while pooping. Symptoms of an inguinal hernia are a visible bump near the groin, pain when you cough, you have pain and weakness around the groin, and you could have swelling of the testicles. Surgery is the only way to fix an inguinal hernia.

Incisional Hernias

Incisional hernias are most common in elderly people.  This is when you develop a hernia around an old incision site.  Incisional hernias are only abdominal tissue that is protruding making them the least severe type of hernia. Incisional hernias usually happen in the front part of the abdomen so you can usually see the bump on your stomach more visibly.  Some symptoms you can experience, is redness or swelling around the bulge, nausea, vomiting, constipation, or increased pain when straining or lifting a heavy item.  Surgery is the only way to fix an incisional hernia too, and it is usually necessary to have surgery. Surgery will make sure the old incision site will get cleaned out for infection, and then a mesh will be put over the opening of the abdominal wall to make sure nothing else can protrude out.  

Femoral Hernias

Femoral hernias are the most common in women especially pregnant women.  L