HERNIA : Symptoms and Treatment


HERNIA: Symptoms and Treatment Options

Hernia is a very common disorder and affects about 3% of the population; hence it is important for all to have basic knowledge of this problem, its symptoms and treatment.

Hernia can occur in men as well as women, but it is more common in men. Life time risk of developing Hernia in man is 27 % whereas it is 3 % in women.

Hernia, usually occur in middle aged people though it can occur at any age (from cradle to grave )

Hernia occurs because of a defect in the abdominal muscles through which intestine slips out.

There are many types of Hernia but three types are common.

Inguinal Hernia is a swelling in groin (area between abdomen & thighs). It is usually seen in men. It can be on right side, left side or both sides.

Umbilical Hernia occurs around navel. It is more common in women.

Sometimes, Hernia develops on the scar of previous abdominal surgery (e.g. caesarean section).

It is known as Incisional Hernia. 3 to 13 % of abdominal surgeries lead to this type of Hernia.

What are the common Symptoms of Hernia?

  • The swelling usually appears on standing or coughing & disappears when you lie down.
  • Swelling increases in size on lifting heavy weight, coughing, sneezing or straining while passing urine/stool.
  • Most of the Hernia are painless or mild pulling type of pain on straining.

What is the treatment of Hernia?

Hernia being a structural disease, it requires surgery. No tablets, injection or medicines of any pathy can cure Hernia. In other words, Hernia has no treatment in Ayurveda, Unani, Homeopathy or Naturopathy.

Only treatment of Hernia is surgery, during which the slipped out intestine are returned back to abdomen & defect in the muscle is closed, usually with an artificial net or Mesh.

There are two ways of doing this surgery, Open or Laparoscopic.

Open surgery requires a big cut at the site, while laparoscopic surgery is done through small few mms holes. Laparoscopic surgery is less painful, cosmetically appealing & leads to faster recovery.

It is usually a day care surgery & patient can resume his normal work in a week.

If Hernia is painless, why operate?

If Hernia is left untreated, it leads to complications.

What are the complications of Hernia?

  • Hernia swelling increase with time. Large Hernia require more complex repair & carry high chance of recurrence after surgery.
  • Almost 10 % of Hernia can get complicated & present as an emergency situation.
  • During such times, large amount of intestine slip out through the muscular defect, leading to severe pain & vomiting. It requires emergency surgery within few hours or else trapped intestines can get obstructed, can become gangrenous & risks the life.

Can Hernia recur?

Hernia recurs in less than 5 % of cases, if done by skilled surgeons.

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