Abdominal hernia is a condition of protruding growth or a bulge that erupts as a result of a tear or a slit in the inside lining of the abdominal wall.
Types & Kinds of Hernia
The hernia can either be reducible or non reducible in nature. Reducible hernia growth is the one that subsides or goes back into the abdominal cavity when even slight pressure is applied on the growth: and non reducible hernia is the one where no such flexibility can be noticed or on applying pressure the bulge does not become invisible or subside.
On the basis of extent to which the growth sticks out through abdominal wall; and the tightness with which it is attached to the abdominal muscles, will help the doctor to identify whether it reducible or non reducible hernia.
Another simple test is when the person lies down or sits it will be less obvious but when he stands up it will show. This makes it a reducible hernia.
A person could be born with Hernia or develop it later in life when abdominal pressure increases and starts pushing against a area of muscle or its fibrous sheath which are comparatively weak.
Even children can be diagnosed with this condition and those are called Inguinal hernias; seen in about five kids out of a hundred & male child is more prone to it than female child; Indirect Inguinal Hernia is less common that develops close to the internal ring and is seen in people after the age of 40 or more or due to some kind of injury;
1- Epigastric Hernia more common among men in the age group of twenty and fifty occurs when muscles of the upper-middle abdomen above navel display signs of weakness.
2- Another type is Umbilical Hernia commonly found in babies, children, and adults;
3- Femoral Hernia is common among women more than men and develops between the thigh and abdomen, and gives an impression of a protrusion on the upper thigh.
4- Incisional Hernia is a type that develops at a location of an earlier surgery. As the surgical scar is weak, the tissue is able to push itself thru. It is seen to show months or sometimes even years after the surgery.
Causes of Abdominal Hernia
Abdominal hernia is more common in people who have cough problem because they smoke; even those who sneeze abnormally may develop this condition; obese people suffer this problem; sometimes pregnancy can lead to hernia in women; when a person takes strain during lifting a heavy object, or during urination or bowel movement is also likely to develop abdominal hernia.
Symptoms of Hernia
These start showing in the form of a bulge. Patient may complain of sudden or gradual pain that may especially become sharper while doing bowel movement, at the time of urination, or lifting heavy things.
Sometimes the patient also complains of the pain becoming acute as the day progresses, especially if he is required to stand for an extended period of time without resting.
While the person is standing, the gravitational force builds pressure on the protrusion which makes the condition painful. In the case of a strangulated hernia which contains intestine – the portion of intestine which is affected with hernia may get blocked.
This blockage may lead to fever, severe pain, bloody stool, constipation, vomiting etc. If the patient notices any of these symptoms along with bulge, he should seek medical attention without wasting time.
The best way to avoid this complication is to take an appointment with the doctor when one feels bulge developing and is suspecting hernia. Then it is for the doctor to take care of the rest; physically examine the patient and check out his other symptoms and medical history to chalk out future course of action.
If treated in time, abdominal hernia is not an alarming condition. It can be gotten rid of with a simple surgical procedure. When a surgery has been performed successfully the discomfort will end, hernia will be repaired, and will not develop again.
A procedure called Laparoscopic surgery can be performed on the patient, and calls for a small incision around the affected area. The scars will be large and scary and will fade with time. The patient is asked to undergo X-rays, blood tests, electrocardiogram etc to confirm his fitness level and extent of condition.
Post surgery care includes bed rest and recovery period, regular check ups and evaluation of the progress. If post surgery patient experiences fever, difficulty in urinating, excessive bleeding, swelling or redness where Incision is performed; too much pain the doctor should be notified of it immediately.
However if allowed to go untreated the bulge can get trapped which can lead to disrupted blood supply to the organ. This kind of strangulation can result in immense pain, can cause complications like blocked digestion, gangrene in the intestinal area etc. To steer clear of such conditions people are advised to eat in moderation; exercise regularly, eat fibrous fruits and not encourage conditions for constipation.