What is a hernia?
A hernia is the protrusion of an organ or tissue through an abnormal opening. Think of a ruptured tyre. When the tyre wall separates the inner tube can seep through the opening. Similarly when a hernia occurs tissue protrudes through the abdominal wall. As the hernia enlarges it forms a sac. Internal organs such as the intestines can fall into this sac creating one of the major hernia symptoms - a bulge.
A hernia induced bulge is most often visible when standing. Lying down allows the tissue in the sac to return to its proper position and the bulge temporarily disappears. While hernias occur throughout the body, 95% are in the groin area.
A hernia is a weakness or defect in the abdominal wall. It may be present from birth or develop over a period of time. If the defect is large enough, abdominal contents such as the bowel, may protrude through the defect causing a lump or bulge felt by the patient. Hernias develop at certain sites which have a natural tendency to be weak; the groin, the umbilicus (belly button) and previous surgical incisions.
How do I get HERNIA?
Hernias can be present at birth or occur over time due to stress and strain on the abdominal wall. Most hernias become apparent later in life because it takes time for the hernial sac to enlarge enough for tissue to fall into it.
What are my options?
Without surgery you simply tolerate the hernia. Wearing a truss or binder may temporarily alleviate symptoms but will not cure the hernia. Only surgery corrects the defect in the belly wall.
Why should hernias be repaired?
Once a hernia has developed it will tend to enlarge and cause discomfort. If a loop of bowel gets caught in the hernia it may become obstructed or its blood supply may be cut off. This could then become a life-threatening situation. Since hernias can be repaired effectively and with minimal risk most surgeons therefore recommend that hernias be repaired when diagnosed unless there are other serious medical problems.
How are hernias repaired?
The standard method of hernia repair involves making an incision in the abdominal wall. Normal healthy tissues are cut until the area of weakness is found. This area, the hernia, is then repaired with sutures (stitches). Usually a prosthetic material such as nylon is used to strengthen the area of weakness. (A nylon mesh patch or plug). Finally the skin and other healthy tissues that were cut at the beginning are stitched back together to complete the repair.
How does the laparoscopic method differ?
With the laparoscopic repair the defect in the abdominal wall is repaired from the inside of the abdominal cavity. This method is usually only used for groin hernias. Instead of closing or patching the repair from the outside the patch is secured in place from the inside. This eliminates the necessity of cutting the skin and normal tissues of the groin to get down to and repair the hernia.
What causes hernias?
Hernias are caused by congenital (defects at birth) or age-related weaknesses in the abdominal wall. In males they are caused by an improper closure of the abdominal cavity during the body's development in the womb. They can also be caused by an increase in pressure within the abdominal cavity due to heavy lifting, straining, violent coughing, obesity or pregnancy.
Signs and Symptoms
- Lump in groin area when standing/straining and disappears when reclining
- Pain at the site of the lump especially when lifting a heavy object
- Swelling of the scrotum
- Excruciating abdominal pain (if you have strangulation)
- Nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite and pain (if intestinal obstruction occurs)
Do you have any of these health problems?
It will be important for your doctor and specialist to know if you have any health problems prior to recommending surgery. In particular your doctor will wish to know from you
- any current illnesses
- any past health problems
- any previous operations
- any medications taken
- any allergies particularly to medicines
- any breathing difficulties or anaesthetic problems
- whether or not you smoke
Learn more about how surgeons are diagnosing and treating inguinal hernias and the latest techniques being used to treat this health problem. At The DR KUBER Hernia Clinic surgeons are performing and evaluating several methods of hernia repair. All groin hernia procedures performed at SHRIYASH Hospital are subject to strict quality control.
Why should I turn to specialist?
A recommendation for surgery for the treatment of an inguinal hernia should only be given after a comprehensive assessment and under strict guidelines to assure the most successful outcome. Today new advances are being made but the procedures are still being refined at The DR KUBER Hernia Clinic; research has been initiated to evaluate the outcome for utilising differing types of surgery for the successful treatment of inguinal hernias. With this research at The DR KUBER Hernia Clinic surgeons are evaluating how long the results will last, who will benefit or who will be at the highest risk for complications. The relative benefits of different operation