A hernia can be a devastating situation for a person who is suffering from it. Generally, a patient may feel pain in the area where the hernia is developed. But many people may remain asymptomatic for a longer period of time and develops symptoms when it becomes a major problem.
A hernia often shows up when you have that weak spot in your muscle or fascia, which causes the organs or the fatty tissues to apply pressure onto that weak spot leading to a bulge or a fluid containing sac called a hernia.
There are various types of hernia and any hernia caused is a result of weakened muscle or fascia. It may be congenital or acquired and factors like constipation, cystic fibrosis, tobacco use, alcohol abuse, severe coughing, lifting heavy weights, and may develops as a result of post-surgery.
Where is Hernia located in the body?
Types of hernia and their location
There are several types of hernia and classification of hernia is on the basis of area of their occurrence into the inguinal hernia, umbilical hernia, femoral hernia, incisional hernia, and a hiatal hernia.
Inguinal hernias have the most common recurrence rate when compared to all other herniae. Men usually tend to suffer from inguinal hernia because the muscles in their groin are weak
Where is the inguinal hernia located?
The inguinal canal is the area in male individuals where the spermatic cord passes from the abdomen to the area of the scrotum. It is located in the groin area of men. Inguinal hernia results when the intestines push through a very weak spot in the lower wall of the abdomen, often in the inguinal canal. In female individuals, the inguinal canal constitutes a ligament that helps in holding the uterus at its place.
A hiatal hernia occurs when the stomach part protrudes in an upward direction through the diaphragm into your cavity of the chest. This type of hernia is very common in people above 50 years. In some rare cases, a child may suffer from the same condition due to congenital birth defects.
Where is hiatal hernia located?
It occurs in the weakened muscle or diaphragm that is made up of a sheet of muscles, and which acts as a boundary between the alimentary canal and the pulmonary system. Hiatal hernias are associated with GERD, where the contents of the stomach leak backward into the esophagus, causing heartburn.
Most of the children/infants suffer from Umbilical hernias. Umbilical hernia results due to weak muscles found in the area of the belly button. Adults can also be seen suffering from this problem like ladies with multiple pregnancies, fluid present in the abdomen and obese people.
Where is the umbilical hernia located?
This basically happens when the intestinal contents bulge through the wall of the abdomen near the navel.
It is a type of abdominal hernia that results due to incompletely healed wounds. Incisional hernias account for about 15-20 % of all abdominal hernias.it is a type of ventral hernia, which is formed at the site of a healing surgical scar.
Where is the incisional hernia located?
It is located at the front of the abdomen.
Femoral hernias affect women, most commonly the older age women. This is because of the wider shape of the female pelvis. Femoral hernias are rare in children.
Where is the femoral hernia located?
It is located in the femoral canal of females, in the groin area at the top of the inner thigh.
What are the symptoms of a hernia?
Hernias are broadly classified into two types’ external hernias and internal hernias. External hernias are the ones where the hernia is located outside the muscular wall, and the internal hernias are the ones that push inside the abdominal wall into the organs. Some of the common symptoms of a hernia include:
- A lump or bulge in the abdomen or umbilical, and groin area
- Pain and burning sensation in the area
- Constipation/obstruction of the bowel
- Tenderness in the abdominal area.
- Abdominal distension
Diagnosis of Hernia
Diagnosis of hernia is the most complex procedure because sometimes the hernias that are located in the deeper tissues remain unidentified and delays treatment risking the life of a patient. Some of the diagnostic procedures for locating the hernia in the body are as follows.
Visual examination- A physician will first do a quick check by examining the person who had a complaint of a bulge in the abdominal or groin area. During this examination, the doctor examines the formation of a bulge which increases when the person works or due to continual standing, and coughing, or straining too. Then, the doctor will look after your medical history. Sometimes, when the doctor is unable to understand where the hernia is located and can’t examine the bulge physically then, the doctor will ask the patient to undergo imaging tests that can aid in their diagnosis. Some of the imaging tests include:
- CT scan – A powerful X-ray radiation is transferred on the site of the hernia which produces an image of the hernia by producing an image on the computer.
- Abdominal Ultrasound – In this technology high-frequency sound waves are passed that creates an image of the structures inside the body through which it becomes easy to diagnose the location of the hernia
- MRI scan – In this scan, a combination of strong magnets and the radio waves are passed on the abdominal or groin area to produce an image
Above all, if an individual is suffering from hiatal hernia, then your physician may use various other tests which allow them to determine the internal position of your stomach like Endoscopy and Gastrografin or barium X-ray
Preventive factors for hernia
One may ensure considering various factors in order to prevent a hernia. Some of them include:
- Ensure strong muscles in the abdominal and groin area by doing some physical exercises.
- In order to prevent hernia in children, they should be given massages after birth for uniform blood circulation throughout the body.
- Reducing weight by eating sensibly and fulfilling the daily nutrients
A hernia is one of the diseases that many people suffer from, but only a few people may notice and have an idea of what it is, and how it can become a life-threatening disorder if not addressed on time. Many people may think that it’s just a mass of fatty tissue while others get terrified that it’s a sign of cancer. Although, hernia initially does not show any symptoms, pain may be the initial symptom of hernia.