Hernias happen when part of an organ bulges through a wall of tissue in the body. Doctors diagnose most hernias with a simple physical examination. Surgery is the only way to permanently repair a hernia.
If you or a loved one suffered complications or injury after hernia mesh surgery, you may have legal options.
Hernias are tears in tissue that internal organs slip through. Hernias can be painful, but some people with hernias may not experience symptoms.
Doctors can diagnose hernias with physical exams in most cases. Most patients can self-diagnose hernias.
Hernia repair is one of the most frequent surgeries performed in the U.S. There are more than one million hernia repairs each year. About 900,000 of those procedures use hernia mesh.
A combination of muscle weakness and strain causes hernias. Hernias may happen suddenly or develop slowly over a long time.
Hernias are one of the most common anatomical conditions people suffer. The chance of someone having a hernia at some point in their life is about 10 percent. The likelihood is higher for men (27 percent) than for women (3 percent). Obesity plays a role in developing and treating hernias. So does smoking.
Coughing, body weight and strain on the body all help cause hernias. Addressing these can help prevent hernias.
People who suffer a hernia may not experience signs that something is wrong. Pain is the most likely symptom someone with a hernia experiences. Different types of hernias may share certain symptoms. But some symptoms may be unique to a particular type of hernia.
People should seek medical attention before a hernia becomes serious. In some cases, the intestines can become trapped in the hernia. This can cut off blood flow. If this happens, a surgeon may have to remove part of the intestines.
Doctors diagnose most hernias with a physical examination. Patients can often diagnose a hernia on their own.
The most obvious sign is a bump under the skin at the hernia site. This can show up even if a person experiences no other hernia symptoms.
A doctor may use X-rays to diagnose a hiatal hernia or to look for bowel obstructions. An ultrasound can help diagnose umbilical hernias in children and femoral hernias in adults.
There are several types of hernias. Inguinal and umbilical hernias account for most of them. Symptoms can vary based on type and location in the body.
Inguinal hernias happen in the groin. The intestine or bladder juts through the abdominal wall. About 19 in every 20 groin hernias are inguinal hernias. Most happen in men. One in three people with inguinal hernias may not experience symptoms.
There are two types of inguinal hernias: incarcerated and strangulated. A doctor can determine which one a patient may have.
Umbilical hernias are most common in infants. They can sometimes heal themselves by the time the child turns four. But they require surgery if they happen in adults.
Umbilical hernias form around the navel. These happen when muscle around the belly button does not close after birth. Organs push through the abdominal lining around the navel. Umbilical hernias appear as an outward bulge.
Umbilical hernias are very small. They range from less than one-third of an inch to about two inches wide. People with an umbilical hernia may never notice they have one. Doctors or other health care workers are most likely to discover them in patients.
While most common in children, umbilical hernias still occur in adults. About one in 10 adult abdominal hernias are umbilical hernias. For adults, umbilical hernias can be far more serious.
An umbilical hernia squeezing the intestine can cause a medical emergency. Adults may experience sudden pain and vomiting. It requires immediate surgery.
Hiatal hernias occur when part of the upper stomach presses into the chest. The exact cause of these hernias is unknown, but it may be due to weakness in the diaphragm.
The diaphragm is the sheet of muscle dividing the chest from the abdomen. Hiatal hernias are common and the risk of developing one increase as a person ages.
Most hiatal hernias occur in people older than 50, but some children are born with them.
By themselves, hiatal hernias seldom cause symptoms. But people who suffer them may experience pain and discomfort. This is from stomach acid, bile or even air flowing upward from the stomach into the esophagus.
Hernia treatments depend on the hernia’s severity and the patient’s pain.
There are two main types of hernia surgery: open and laparoscopic.
Open surgery involves cutting into the layers of skin and other tissue around the hernia.
Laparoscopic is a minimally-invasive technique. A doctor makes small incisions in the area around the hernia. The doctor inserts medical instruments through these incisions to perform the surgery.
Surgeons can repair hernias using pure-tissue techniques or hernia mesh.
Pure-tissue techniques involve suturing together the damaged tissue. Sometimes this will include different layers of tissue.
Most hernia surgeries in the U.S. rely on hernia mesh. Hernia mesh surgery may involve either an open or laparoscopic method. A surgeon places the mesh around the hernia. He attaches it using surgical staples, tacks or sutures. Over time, tissue grows into the mesh’s holes. This adds strength to the repair.
Please seek the advice of a medical professional before making health care decisions.
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