Here’s what you should know about hernias
Hernia symptoms can vary
Depending on the type of a hernia you have and its location in your body, the signs and symptoms can be different. The most common type of a hernia:
An inguinal hernia can cause:
- Dull aching sensation
- Full sensation
- Pain when lifting something
- Lump or bulge in the abdomen or groin that can be pushed back in
- Bulge that disappears when lying down
- Bulge that returns when laughing, coughing, lifting or another straining
- Lump that increases in size
- Pain and burning at the lump site
- A hiatal hernia produces no bulge or lump but can cause:
- Acid indigestion
- Difficulty swallowing
- Chest pain
Hernias can occur in various places in the body. They can be small and go unnoticed. In that case, you might be advised to take the “watch and wait” approach, meaning treatment can be postponed until a hernia becomes more serious.
A hernia can also be large, causing discomfort and pain. That’s when surgery is likely to be recommended to repair a hernia, eliminate pain and avoid possible complications. If your doctor decides you need hernia surgery, here’s some information about the procedure you should know:
There are two methods for hernia repair
- Laparoscopic surgery is minimally invasive. The procedure uses a small incision to insert a tube with a tiny camera into the abdomen. Another small incision it made to allow the surgeon to insert small surgical instruments that can be camera-guided to push the protruding intestine (or another organ) back into place. The muscle is then sutured together, and a synthetic mesh is also often stitched over the repaired muscle to strengthen the area.
- Open surgery uses a standard incision in the groin to push the protrusion back into the abdomen. The torn or weakened muscle is sewn shut, and a synthetic mesh is often used to support the weakened area.
Learn more about hernia surgery and recovery
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