The main causes for a hernia include chronic constipation, prolonged cough, lifting heavy weights or poor nutrition. Another important factor that aggravates the chances of a person to develop hernia is obesity. Consumption of tobacco in the form of gutka or pan-masala or even smoking contributes to ventral hernia. Inguinal hernia can occur due to aging and stress or strain weaken the abdominal muscles around the inguinal canal. Some hernia may be present since birth.
Statistics about Hernia in India-
- Patients aged between 40-70 yrs of age are more prone to developing a hernia
- With advancing age, there is an increase in the incidence of inguinal hernia
- There are very reported cases of femoral hernia
- A hernia can occur at any age, as youngest as 3 months old to oldest as 82 years old.
6 Facts you should know about a hernia-
1. Males are more prone to developing hernias
The inguinal hernia is more common men than in women. It is simply due to their anatomy. The reason for this is that after birth, the testicles descend the inguinal canal. This canal closes shortly after birth. However, if the canal does not close properly then a weakened area is left which is prone to hernia. (Also Read: Hernias in Men versus Hernias in Women )
2. Obesity is one of the biggest factors that can contribute to hernia
Obese patients are more prone to developing a hernia. The main reason being that the abdominal pressure is high. Not only that, but it also complicates to repair the hernia and you are likely to develop another one within a year.
3. There’s not only one type of hernia
There are different types of hernia depending on the location where they occur. A hernia is broadly categorized into two categories- Ventral (occurs along the vertical center of the abdominal wall) and Inguinal (occurs around the groins and top of the legs). A ventral hernia can further be categorized into three types- hiatus, umbilical and incisional
- Hiatus- Occurs near the diaphragm that separates the abdomen from the chest
- Umbilical- Develop in the area of the belly button
- Incisional- Occurs around the site of a previous surgery
An Inguinal hernia can be of two types-
- Unilateral- Occurs on one side of the groin
- Bilateral-Develops on both sides of the genital parts
4. A hernia can be deadly
If large hernias are left unrepaired, these put pressure on the surrounding tissue and can extend into the scrotum in men, which causes pain and swelling. In the abdomen, if a loop of the intestine gets trapped in a weak spot of the abdominal wall, it can lead to extreme pain, vomiting, nausea and unable to have bowel movements or pass gas.
Also Read: Things To Do and Avoid During Hernia
5. Some hernias can occur from simple activities
A hernia can occur during athletic activity or as a result of a weakened muscular area of the body due to previous surgery. Several herniae develop due to the result of everyday actions such as-
- Clearing the throat
- Straining during bowel movements
6. Hernias can be cured using only a surgery
As the muscles are weakened and the organ is out of place, the condition can be cured only surgically. This can be done in two ways-
- Conservative “Open” surgery- In this type of surgery, a large cut is made by the surgeon in the abdomen. People undergoing open surgery require a longer hospital stay and recovery time.
- Laparoscopic Treatment- With a laparoscopic procedure, a small incision is made through which a small laparoscope is inserted to help the doctor to see inside. People are undergoing laparoscopic treatment to remove gallstones for its several benefits
What to eat after hernia surgery?
It is advisable to drink a good amount of water. Doctors also recommend consuming high-fiber, natural and organic foods such as bananas, apples, green beans, peas or grains like cereals, bread, rice along with healthy fluids, juices. Low-fat or skim milk and low-fat yogurt are suggested instead of normal milk. It is suggested to avoid spicy and junk foods.
Most common hernias occur in the abdomen, sometimes in the upper thigh, groin areas and navel areas. The safest option for the treatment of hernia is considered to be a laparoscopy. In laparoscopy, a thin, telescope-like instrument is inserted through a small incision at the navel. The surgery is performed under general anesthesia so you cannot feel any pain during surgery. Comparison studies suggest that laparoscopic hernia surgery ensures less pain after surgery as well as shorter recovery time. Patients sometimes have a fear of infection so laparoscopic surgeries are carried out by highly-trained professionals. Our doctors at Pristyn Care are specially trained in laparoscopic surgeries for curing hernia.