7 Types of hernia and how can we deal with each of them
A condition wherein a part of a body organ or a body tissue becomes envelope with a painful sac, and pierces through the cavity wall which contains it, is called hernia. There are different types of hernia, depending on the area of the body which it affects. In this article, we will be showing you the types of hernia, their signs and symptoms, and how you can prevent and treat them.
- Inguinal Hernia. This is the type which affects the small intestine until the inguinal canal in the groin. There are two kinds of inguinal hernia, the indirect and direct. The indirect inguinal hernia is usually a defect from birth and affects males more often than female. During the development of a male in the womb, the testes would emerge from the scrotum through the inguinal canal. Normally, the small opening which made this possible would close shortly after it is done but, the instances when it did not close properly would cause a loop in the intestine thaw would travel done to the spermatic cord, hence causing hernia. On the other hand, direct inguinal hernia happens as people aged and their abdominal walls weaken to the point of being susceptible to heavy pressures that may puncture a hole in the groin area. Just like in the indirect type, men also have higher risk of experiencing this condition.
Signs and Symptoms. Usually, a person with inguinal hernia would see the signs and symptoms of the condition on the right side. If you notice a small bump on the right side of the abdomen that would disappear when you’re lying down, you have a reducible hernia. If it’s otherwise then your condition is called non-reducible hernia, in which the hernia is trapped and will eventually lead to lack of blood supply in the area. A person with inguinal hernia may also notice a small bulge between his thigh and scrotum, and may feeling pain in these areas when doing different activities such as lifting, swimming, cycling, coughing, and sneezing.
Treatment. Inguinal hernia, be it direct or indirect, is best treated through a surgery that would push the hernia back in its place and would put a screen-like support in the abdominal wall. Indirect inguinal hernia, however, should be monitored more closely because it can block the blood flow through the affected areas. The surgery for the direct type may be deferred for some time and just take medications to put hernia in check.
- Femoral Hernia. One can identify this type of hernia if it is a small bulge near the groin area up to the small intestine. Its position is almost the same as the inguinal hernia that’s why it is understandable why many people mistook the one with the other. Actually, these two types of hernia only differs in a sense that here, the hernia from the intestine enters the femoral canal instead of the inguinal. And mostly, women are the ones affected by this type because of the pressure the woman’s abdomen get from pregnancy, bronchitis, and other conditions.
Signs and Symptoms. The symptoms of femoral hernia are characterized as a bulge in the upper thigh and a feeling of discomfort when doing tiresome works. These, however, are hard to detect that’s why most people with femoral hernia tend to often overlook these symptoms.
Treatment. Just like inguinal hernia, femoral hernia can also disrupt the flow of the blood in the affected areas because of the narrow space in the canal. Hence, if you got diagnosed with this condition, it is best to get surgery immediately before it could lead to other complications. It was also mentioned that the symptoms of femoral hernia is hard to detect that’s why if it did got detected, probably because it’s no longer in a stage where surgery can be postponed.
- Umbilical or Para-umbilical Hernia. An unborn baby in his mother’s womb has a hole in the abdominal muscle in which the umbilical cord passes through. This hole will eventually close after the baby is born, but there are instances when it do not close completely. Because of this, a bulge in the small intestine will emerge, hence the umbilical or para-umbilical hernia. This is a type of hernia that is more common to premature babies and, according to recent studies, African-American infants. Meanwhile, umbilical hernia can also occur to a person with unhealthy lifestyle, particularly the obese, because of too much pressure in the abdomen.
Signs and Symptoms. The symptoms of umbilical hernia may show themselves depending on the position of the baby. A small bulge just above the navel will be seen if the baby is sitting, crying, or laughing. Meanwhile, it is not visible when the baby lies down.
Treatment. Treating this kind of hernia in the case of babies isn’t entirely necessary because it would eventually disappear when the baby turns 1 year old, while the bigger bumps will heal at around 11 years old. However, if the hernia did not disappear, and even showed signs of getting worse, like getting more red and swollen, surgery is advisable. On the other hand, umbilical hernia in adults is unlikely to heal itself that’s why getting surgery is also recommended.
- Incisional Hernia. This type of hernia occurs when an incision or a surgical wound did not heal very well. As a matter of fact, approximately 10 to 15% of people who had abdominal surgery before, and 3% of women who have underwent C-section when they gave birth experienced incisional hernia. Here, the infection from that wound, as well as several factors like smoking, obesity, and diabetes, can trigger the condition.
Signs and Symptoms. There’s no specific time frame when the symptoms of incisional hernia may occur. They may appear right after surgery or getting birth, while it could also be years later after that. But just like other types, people who have this type of hernia will experience pain and discomfort when their abdomen is under heavy pressure. Bumps may appear but will not be visible when the person is lying down.
Treatment. The right surgery mustbe performed, and the incision must heal right in order for this type of hernia to be treated. As a support to the abdominal wall, it is advisable that a mesh be used during surgery.
Curing any kind of hernia can be very expensive and bothersome because surgery is required. That’s why it is best to just avoid having hernia instead of going through all these troubles. Although there are types of hernia that can’t be prevented, there are still some that we can hope to prevent by living healthy. Having a balanced and healthy diet, preferably fiber-rich foods to avoid constipation and other conditions that would put pressure on the abdomen, exercising and being active, and just living healthy, we can be less at risk.