Contributed by – Healthians team

Hernia operations are one of the most common procedures performed today. Hernia in men is far more common than in women, but, even so many women are also affected by it. According to Medindia, around 25% of men suffer from inguinal hernia, one of the most common types of hernia. Considering the incidence rate of hernia, it’s important for you to be aware about this disease. Therefore, here, we’ll discuss various types and causes of hernia. We’ll also look at some available hernia treatment options.


Common types of hernia

Inguinal hernia

An inguinal hernia is the most common type of hernia, especially amongst men. It is associated with aging and the chance of occurrence increases with repeated stress on the abdomen. In this type of hernia, your intestine or bladder protrudes through the abdominal wall or into your inguinal canal in the groin.


Femoral hernia

In femoral hernia fatty tissue or a part of your bowel protrudes into your groin at the top of your inner thigh. Like inguinal hernia, it is also associated with aging. Women, especially those who are pregnant and obese, are more affected by this type of hernia. 


Umbilical hernia

Umbilical hernia, also known as belly button hernia, is common in newborns. But it can affect obese women as well. It occurs when a small part of your intestine pokes through the abdominal wall near your navel. 


Hiatal hernia

Hiatal hernia is common in those who are above the age of 50 years. It occurs when a part of your stomach protrudes through the diaphragm into your chest cavity.


Incisional hernia

In incisional hernia, your intestine pushes through the incision scar or surrounding weak tissue. Typically it affects those who are physically inactive after abdominal surgery.


Hernia causes - Healthians


Hernia causes

A combination of pressure and an opening or a weak muscle is the root cause of hernia. In other words, the pressure in your abdomen pushes the organ and it protrudes through the weak spot. And as a result, various types of hernias can develop. Sometimes, muscle weakness is present since birth. Other times it develops over the age. Following are some causes of pressure or strain in your abdomen that can cause hernia:

  • Lifting heavy weights without stabilizing the abdomen muscles.
  • Diarrhea or constipation
  • Chronic coughing or sneezing
  • Being overweight 
  • Fluid in the abdomen

Other factors that could increase your risk of developing hernia are:

  • Aging
  • Pregnancy
  • Family history of hernia
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Smoking
  • Being born prematurely


Diagnosis of hernia

To diagnose hernia, your doctor will perform a physical examination first. During this, your doctor may feel for a bulge in your abdomen or groin that usually gets larger when you cough or stand. Moreover, he/she will also consider your medical history. Some imaging tests like ultrasound, CT scan, MRI scan, X-ray, and endoscopy also aids hernia diagnosis


Treatment of hernia

Hernia treatment depends on the type of hernia you have. They don’t usually get better on their own. Therefore, surgery might be the only option. Your doctor will recommend the best option depending on your condition. Make sure you don’t delay your treatment, especially if you have a painful hernia. Typically, one of these three types of hernia surgery is performed:

  • Open surgery – A cut is made on the body at the location of the hernia. The protruding tissue is set back in place and the weakened muscle is stitched together.
  • Laparoscopic surgery – It is similar to open surgery. The only difference is, a laparoscope is used and small incisions are made to allow the insertion of surgical tools to complete the procedure.
  • Robotic hernia repair – A laparoscope is used in this surgery as well, however, the surgeon uses a console to handle the surgical instruments to perform the procedure.

While avoiding a hernia may not be completely possible, there are ways in which you can reduce the possibility. Many of the things suggested for hernia prevention may also work towards helping you have a healthier lifestyle and avoiding other health issues as well. Eating more fiber, maintaining a healthy weight, quitting smoking, exercising with caution may help in hernia management.


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