In latin, hernia means rupture. Abdominal Hernia is an abnormal protrusion of a portion of abdominal contents, mainly intestines, through a defect or hole in the abdominal wall.
Causes of hernia
Abdominal hernia usually occurs due to weakness or defect in the abdominal muscle. So, conditions that cause increased strain such as coughing a lot, difficulty passing stools, or lifting heavy weights, forces the abdominal contents to come out through the weakness or defect. This weakness can be caused due to many reasons.
Old age results in weak muscles. A weak muscle means weak gate! hence even a little strain will lead to hernia.
In case of prolonged childbirth, bearing down during the process, usually leads to weakness of the abdominal muscles.
Previous abdominal Surgeries
During previous abdominal surgeries, the incised area if not sutured properly, can create a defect, through which the abdominal organs can herniate. This is usually associated with open surgeries and rarely with laparoscopic techniques.
Smoking causes damage to the muscles and tissues of all parts of the body. This can also result in a weak spot in the abdomen and thus result in hernia.
Symptoms of hernia
The herniation of abdominal contents results in formation of a bulge, which initially appears only while coughing or straining. As the condition progresses, a bulge can be seen all the time.
- A bulge is noted at the site of hernia.
- Any discomfort or pain at the site of bulge.
Surgeon may ask some questions like how long have you had the bulge. Does it go in by itself or do u have to push it in, does it pain and whether you are able to pass stools normally.
This is done to determine the size, location and presence of bulge and whether it subsides spontaneously, needs to be pushed back in or cannot be pushed back at all.
In case of hernias occurring in the upper stomach, a barium swallow X-ray may be needed. In this patient will be asked to drink a solution (Barium Sulphate). Then will be exposed to x-ray. This gives a whole picture of the food pipe (oesophagus) and stomach. Hence, making it easy to diagnose.
Treatments for hernia
In hiatus hernia (occurring in upper stomach) you may have a stomach discomfort. Antacids are helpful at such times. It helps to decrease acid secretion. Which in turn reduces discomfort. For other types of hernia, medications is inefficacious.
At LIMA, we perform Laparoscopic Hernia repair which is way more beneficial than open repair. Quick healing occurs because of which one can go back to normal activities at the earliest.
Prevention of herniA
- When one smokes, less oxygen goes to the muscles. Hence it easily gets tired, making muscles weak is just one reason. There are many other bad effects of smoking! To stop smoking is the best option available.
- The abdomen is a magic box. Everything inside is allotted its own space. Heavy meals causes the stomach to enlarge. This causes increase in pressure inside the abdomen. As a result exerting pressure on the abdominal wall. So better to avoid heavy meals.
- Muscles always follow the rule – “Use it or Lose it”. Exercising regularly makes muscles strong, giving one a strong barrier. So, exercising regularly can avoid hernias.
Only recorded case in the World: Six hernias repaired Laparoscopically in a person, in single sitting.
Dr. J. S. Rajkumar
M.S., F.I.C.S., Dip. N.B. (SURG.), F.R.C.S. (ENG.), F.R.C.S. (EDIN.), F.R.C.S. (GLASGOW), F.R.C.S. (IRELAND), F.I.M.S., F.A.I.S., F.R.M.S. (LONDON), F.A.E. (GASTRO), F.A.C.G. (USA), F.I.C.A. (USA), F.I.A.G.E.S., Dip M.I.S. (FR.)
Dr. S. Akbar
Consultant General and Laparoscopic Surgeon
M.B.B.S., M.S (GENERAL SURGERY), D.MAS, F.MAS.
Dr. Anirudh Rajkumar
Bariatric and Laparoscopic Surgeon
M.B.B.S., Dip.N.B. (GENERAL SURGERY).