1. What is hernia?
It is a condition in which an internal organ or part protrudes out of the muscles and surrounding tissues holding it. The most common types of hernia include:inguinal hernia (inner groin), umbilical hernia (belly button), femoral hernia (outer groin) and hiatal hernia (between the chest and stomach). Some other types of hernia include incisional hernia and diaphragmatic hernia.
2. What symptoms will I have if I have hernia?
Hernia generally causes a noticeable lump that can be pushed back in. Other symptoms associated with hernia include: pain while lifting weight, increase in the size of the lump with time, difficulty in swallowing, discomfort and pain in the affected area, reflux of acid from the stomach to the oesophagus and heaviness, pressure and weakness in the abdomen.
3. What are the causes of hernia?
Weakened muscles and repeated strains are the primary causes of hernia. These can occur due to ageing, lifting weights, sudden weight gain, pregnancy, cough for a prolonged time, birth defects, injuries caused during surgical procedures or fluid accumulation in the abdomen.
4. How will the diagnosis of hernia be made?
The following steps are useful in the diagnosis of hernia: doctor will perform a physical examination of the area causing discomfort, you will be asked to cough in a standing position as it makes the hernia more noticeable and easier to diagnose and the doctor will recommend imaging tests such as MRI scan, ultrasound and CT scan.
5. Is surgery required in all types of hernia?
Surgery is not required if hernia is not affecting your daily routine. It can also be avoided if hernia is small or painless. However, hernia may get bigger with time leading to the weakening of the belly muscles. This may cause more tissues to bulge through it.