When there happens to be a small break or tear in the abdominal wall of the body, there occurs a lump of small intestine peer into the groin area. This is called Inguinal Hernia.
In a male, an inguinal hernia build ups in the area where the spermatic cord and blood vessels to the testicles go by the abdominal cavity and into the scrotum. Inguinal canal is the area through which these pass by or the area at which the inguinal hernia forms.
In a female, an inguinal hernia builds up at the connective tissue strapping the uterus gaps from the abdomen to link with the tissue around the opening of the vagina.
Generally, inguinal hernia is of two types – Indirect and Direct.
An indirect hernia can be seen only in men and it affects only male bodies. In indirect hernia, a strip of intestine of the body is passed down to the inguinal canal from the spot where a testis descends into the scrotum.
A direct hernia occurs and affects both male and female bodies. There occurs a swelling of the intestinal loop in the areas beneath of the groin folds.
Moreover, there are total three classifications of hernia. They are reductible, incarcenated and strangulated.
- Reductible Hernia: In this type of inguinal hernia, the portion of intestine gets into the cut in the abdominal wall, which can be replaced back into its original position without any need of surgery.
- Incarcenated Hernia: In some cases, the projection cannot be positioned back into place without operation since a few adjoining tissues or parts have developed mutually. These types of cases are classified as Incarcenated hernia.
- Strangulated Hernia: This is a serious problem. Here, the penetration gets twisted with the adjoining parts and sometimes leads to obstructing of the general blood flow and the actions of the muscle. This requires immediate attention and surgery to avoid fatal problems.
Causes and Risk Factors of Inguinal Hernia
Defects in the congenital areas results in inguinal hernia. These congenital defects usually occur due the weakness in the inguinal canal obviously after an injury, pregnancy or due to aging. Inguinal hernias sometimes come into sight after a surgery, birthing a child or pregnancy, excessive exercising, constant coughing, straining while urinating or even by increase in the weight of the body (obesity).
Symptoms of Inguinal Hernia
Many times, we cannot predict when inguinal hernia can occur. Yet, the below mentioned symptoms are experienced by few people.
1. Swelling in the groin.
2. Pain occurs all of a sudden in the scrotum.
3. Discomfort in abdomen.
4. A deep sensation and in the groin
5. Pain occurring in the groin while standing or walking around.
Diagnosis of Inguinal Hernia
The doctor can report a noticeable swelling in the groin area if the lump is bigger. Alternatively, if the hernia is small, the doctor will check the groin area carefully for a swelling or bulge in the affected area. In either case, the inguinal hernia can be diagnosed.
Treatment of Inguinal Hernia
As said above in the classifications, the reductible hernia can be easily cured by just pushing back the swelling carefully. This doesn’t not need any operation to perform and can be done by a simple way. A doctor recommends a device that holds on pressure on the hernia. This device is called truss and it holds on to the hernia. A truss acts like a supportive garment.
The other two types of hernias i.e., which cannot be pushed back, require a surgery. These hernias also cause much pain and need a surgical treatment immediately after diagnosis. There are two types of surgical methods that are followed to treat the inguinal hernias. They are open surgery and laproscopical surgery.
The most ordinary and followed type of surgery is the open surgery and about 95% of all surgeries fall under this category. This process is finished in local anesthesia and needs a 4- to 6-inch slit in the groin. Then the hernia tissue is pushed back into its place and the made slit is stitched back by the doctor. This may take up to 6weeks of time to heal.
The other surgical method, Laparoscopy is done in general anesthesia and requires three small slits or incisions (1/2 inch or even less) in the abdomen. After that, these are puffed up with carbon dioxide gas. A laparoscope (a fiber-optic narrow tube with a light on the end) and other devices are sent through the incisions. Using a watch screen the surgeon pushes the herniated tissue back into place and staples a patch over the opening. The main advantage of this method is the person can easily recover within a week and this method does not require any stitches. But this type of surgery is expensive as it involves ultra modern techniques and devices.
Prevention of Inguinal Hernia
Even though there is nothing a person can do to completely prevent a hernia, many experts suggest these steps to follow so that hernia can be prevented to at least some extent from occurring:
- Maintain good weight and do not grow over weight.
- Always maintain the abdominal muscles in figure
- Do not try to lift heavy objects
- Do not strain to urinate or defecate
Questions To Ask Your Doctor about Inguinal Hernia
- Did inguinal hernia really occur to you?
- Is yes, then to which type and character does it fall under?
- Where is inguinal hernia located in the body?
- Is a surgery necessary?
- Is open surgery performed or laparoscopic?
- What are the risks involved?
- Will there be a complete recovery and how many days it may take?