You can't prevent the congenital defect that makes you susceptible to an inguinal hernia. You can, however, reduce strain on your abdominal muscles and tissues. For example:.
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A physical exam is usually all that's needed to diagnose an inguinal hernia. Your doctor will check for a bulge in the groin area. Because standing and coughing can make a hernia more prominent, you'll likely be asked to stand and cough or strain. If the diagnosis isn't readily apparent, your doctor might order an imaging test, such as an abdominal ultrasound, CT scan or MRI.
If your hernia is small and isn't bothering you, your doctor might recommend watchful waiting.
Sometimes, wearing a supportive truss may help relieve symptoms, but check with your doctor first because it's important that the truss fits properly. In children, the doctor might try applying manual pressure to reduce the bulge before considering surgery. Enlarging or painful hernias usually require surgery to relieve discomfort and prevent serious complications. There are two general types of hernia operations — open hernia repair and laparoscopic repair. In this procedure, which might be done with local anesthesia and sedation or general anesthesia, the surgeon makes an incision in your groin and pushes the protruding tissue back into your abdomen.
The surgeon then sews the weakened area, often reinforcing it with a synthetic mesh hernioplasty. The opening is then closed with stitches, staples or surgical glue.
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After the surgery, you'll be encouraged to move about as soon as possible, but it might be several weeks before you're able to resume normal activities. In this minimally invasive procedure, which requires general anesthesia, the surgeon operates through several small incisions in your abdomen.
Gas is used to inflate your abdomen to make the internal organs easier to see. A small tube equipped with a tiny camera laparoscope is inserted into one incision. Guided by the camera, the surgeon inserts tiny instruments through other incisions to repair the hernia using synthetic mesh. People who have laparoscopic repair might have less discomfort and scarring after surgery and a quicker return to normal activities.
However, hernia recurrence may be more likely with laparoscopic repair than with open surgery. Having a surgeon who is very experienced in the laparoscopic procedure may reduce this risk. Laparoscopy allows the surgeon to avoid scar tissue from an earlier hernia repair, so it might be a good choice for people whose hernias recur after open hernia surgery. We don't currently post comments online but are always keen to hear your feedback. In the UK, one man in five dies before the age of If we had health policies and services that better reflected the needs of the whole population, it might not be like that.
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Hernia FAQs Hernias can appears as strange lumps from your body. They're common but the sooner you seek help, the easier they are to repair. What is it? What are the main symptoms? What's the risk? It's a very common problem. What causes it? Doctors classify a hernia according to its position within the abdomen, as follows: Inguinal hernia. When a male's testicles descend into the scrotum, this causes a naturally weakened area of the abdominal wall, known as the internal ring. There are two kinds of inguinal hernia: In an 'indirect inguinal hernia' a portion of the intestine drops down into the internal ring and may extend down into the scrotum.
An indirect inguinal hernia tends to occur as a result of an inherited weakness in the internal ring, or a weakness acquired in later life from, say, a groin injury. Less common is the 'direct inguinal hernia', which occurs near the internal ring, rather than within it.
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This usually occurs after age 40, as a result of ageing or injury. Epigastic hernia.
This type of hernia results from a weakness in the muscles of the upper-middle section of the abdominal wall, above the navel. Men are three times more likely to have epigastric hernia than women. Umbilical hernia. The tissue around the navel is thinner than that in the rest of the abdominal wall, making this area prone to development of a hernia. Umbilical hernia can occur in babies, children and adults see hernias in children. Femoral hernia. The area between the abdomen and thigh around the femoral artery is another site where a hernia may develop, although this one is far more common among women.
A femoral hernia causes a bulge on the upper thigh.
Incisional and stoma hernias. A surgical incision creates an area of weakness in the abdominal wall, where a hernia may develop. Incisional hernia sometimes occurs after, for instance, removal of the appendix. It is more likely to happen when the operation wound has become infected - a fairly common occurrence, in fact.
Similarly, creation of a stoma an artificial opening for the bowel, often done in treatment of colon cancer or other intestinal disease strains the tissue in the surrounding area. Hernias following trauma or injury to the abdomen e. Multiple hernias, occurring at more than one site on the abdominal wall, may sometimes develop. How can I prevent it?
Should I see a doctor?
What are the main treatments? Ask questions such as: What are the risks to me, in my current state of health, of having this operation? Will I need a local or a general anaesthetic? However, they may be useful in certain scenarios, as follows:.
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Surgical options depend on type and location of hernia. Basic types of inguinal hernia repair include the following:. See Treatment and Medication for more detail. Uncommon in other animals, abdominal wall hernias are among the most common of all surgical problems. They are a leading cause of work loss and disability and are sometimes lethal. Knowledge of hernias of the abdominal wall usual and unusual and of the protrusions that mimic hernias is an essential component of the armamentarium of the general and pediatric surgeon. Abdominal wall hernias are commonly described in terms of their anatomic location.
Four of the most common types are shown in the image below. By definition, a hernia is an abnormal protrusion from one anatomic space to another, with the protruded parts generally contained in a saclike structure formed by the membrane that naturally lines the cavity. Variants on the definition of hernia exist with regard to congenital abdominal wall defects. An omphalocele is characterized by extension of viscera from the abdominal cavity into the umbilical stalk, with the contents covered by a translucent, bilaminar sac consisting of fused amnion and peritoneum.
On occasion, the sac tears prenatally or during delivery, thus becoming harder to identify. The underlying abdominal wall defect exceeds 4 cm. The umbilical vessels insert onto the sac and travel along its left superior aspect to the abdominal wall. On the other hand, gastroschisis is present when midgut viscera protrude through a central abdominal fascial defect and are not covered by a sac.