The body has areas of natural weakness. A hernia occurs when a hole develops in those weak areas due to repeated stress, and tissues or organs protrude through the hole. Hernias can also develop after abdominal procedures. The most common symptom you may experience is a painless bulge, though pain can occur with it as well.
There are multiple types:
- Inguinal hernia (inner groin, the most common)
- Femoral hernia (outer groin)
- Umbilical hernia (belly button)
- Hiatal hernia (upper stomach)
- Incisional hernia (resulting from an incision)
Two common complications of a hernia include incarceration and strangulation.
- Incarceration is when tissue from one side of the hernia gets trapped on the other side. Though not an emergency condition, it should be fixed as soon as possible.
- Strangulation, however, can have disastrous complications. In this case, herniated tissue becomes starved of blood supply, which can lead to a life-threatening emergency or require emergency surgery.
Surgical repair is recommended for most hernias. As patients age, hernias tend to get larger and more difficult to fix. Though some hernias can require emergency treatment, most hernia operations are elective and can be done on an outpatient basis.
If you have questions about hernia symptoms or want to schedule a consultation, call the Ascension Via Christi Hernia Center today.