1. What is hernia?
Hernia is a condition in which a fatty tissue or organ is pushed through a weak spot in the fascia into the surrounding supporting muscle or connective tissues.
2. What symptoms will I have if I have hernia?
Formation of a bulge or lump in the affected area is the most common symptom of hernia. The only indication of umbilical hernia in babies is a bulge that can be felt when they are crying. In an inguinal hernia, pain, gurgling or burning sensation in the affected area, heaviness or pressure in abdomen may be felt. In hiatal hernia, acid reflux, chest pain and difficulty in swallowing can be seen.
3. What are the causes of hernia?
Hernia can occur quickly or over a period of time because of muscle weakness and strain. Muscle weakness may occur due to a defect in the womb, chronic coughing, ageing, damage or injury.
4. How will the diagnosis of hernia be made?
The diagnosis of hernia depends upon its type. Inguinal or incisional hernias can be detected by a physical examination of the bulge, hiatal hernia by barium x-ray and endoscopy and umbilical hernia with the help of an ultrasound.
5. Is surgery required in all types of hernia?
Not all types of hernia require surgery. It can also be treated with lifestyle changes. Surgery is needed in hernias that are strangulated, or infarcted, or causing too much pain or difficulty in daily routine.