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Abdominal Hernia

An abdominal hernia develops when the contents of the abdominal cavity bulge out of their respective areas of containment. Such contents, which are most often fatty tissue present in the abdomen or parts of the intestines, are enveloped in the thin membrane that occurs naturally within the linings o f the cavity.

Abdominal hernia may not result in the development of any symptoms in the affected patient, or he/she may experience pain that may range from slight to severe.

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It is important to note that all types of abdominal hernias are at increased risk to becoming strangulated or having their blood supply cut off. The bulging out of the contents of the abdominal hernia through the openings can result in the constriction of the blood vessels that are present in the hernia, due to excessive application of pressure on them. This can then lead to cutting-off of the blood supply. This in turn becomes a medical emergency which has to be treated via surgery, due to the fact that the affected tissue does not get enough oxygen when the blood supply stops.

Symptoms of abdominal hernia

  • The signs and symptoms of abdominal hernia can differ from one person to another. Both men and women are equally affected by abdominal hernias
  • The most common sign is the presence of a visible bulge in the abdomen. This bulge associated with abdominal hernia develops when any part of the abdominal organs or abdominal tissue protrudes out via a weakened or thin section of the muscle wall that encloses the abdomen.
  • The affected section may have become weakened due to previous surgery, aging or an injury.
  • Abdominal hernia can also be congenital or present at birth

Abdominal hernia is not a harmful condition. However, if left untreated, it can lead to the development of life-threatening conditions and complications

Types of abdominal hernia

  • A protruding abdominal tissue, part of intestine or fat may result in the formation of abdominal hernias. Such a bulge can be classified into two types, i.e. reducible or non-reducible. It is possible to push back abdominal hernias that are reducible bulges. On the other hand, non-reducible type of abdominal hernias cannot be pushed back into the abdominal cavity and require correction via surgery.

It is possible for abdominal hernia to form in various parts of the pelvis or the abdomen. The various types of abdominal hernia include the following:

  • Epigastric hernia develops in the upper section of middle abdomen
  • Umbilical hernias, which develop during infancy but become tend to become prominent during adulthood, affect the navel
  • Inguinal hernia tends to develop in the groin; and femoral
  • Femoral hernia occurs between the thigh and the abdomen

Research indicates that the occurrence of inguinal hernia is nearly ten times more commonly found in men as compared to women. Men are also more affected by epigastric hernias than women, while femoral hernia is more common in women.

Children, adults and babies can be affected by umbilical hernias. As per the prevalent data, most cases of umbilical hernia during infancy tend to spontaneously close, whole a few cases may continue in children who are older than four or five years

Causes of abdominal hernia

Almost all cases of abdominal hernia form in that area of the abdominal wall that has been weakened due to aging, injury, etc. The development of abdominal hernia is accelerated due to increased pressure in such weakened sections of the abdominal wall. Some of the factors that may increase the pressure leading to development of abdominal hernia are as follows:

  • Being overweight
  • Lifting very heavy things
  • Increased straining at the time of urination or bowel movements
  • Severe sneezing or prolonged coughing
  • Being pregnant

Treatment of abdominal hernia

The presence of the symptoms of an abdominal hernia requires medical attention. It is particularly essential for the affected patient to visit a doctor when an abdominal hernia causes pain or becomes larger.

A number of factors such as the severity of the condition and the medical condition of the affected individual, determine the treatment of abdominal hernias. Patients with mild signs of abdominal hernia may employ a supportive truss to prevent the protrusion of the hernia on a temporary basis. Patients affected by abdominal hernia who have underlying lung and cardiac conditions have to be monitored for complications. However, abdominal hernia can only be cured via surgery

The treatment of abdominal hernia via surgery involves pushing back the bulging tissue or part of the abdominal organ into its original place and strengthening the abdominal wall. Surgery for abdominal hernia can be done via two methods, i.e. laparoscopic surgery or the traditional open surgery.

Open repair surgery is conducted by making an incision in the abdominal wall, while laparoscopic surgery is done by inserting a scope with a camera mounted on it, into very small holes made in the abdomen. As compared to the traditional procedure, a laparoscopic surgery is quite advantageous as it causes less pain, with a shorter operative duration and a faster recovery from the surgery.

Abdominal Hernia Pictures

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Abdominal Hernia Repair

Abdominal Hernia Picture

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