What are the types of hernia?
Hernia can occur anywhere between the chest and thigh region. And depending on their location, they are categorized as below:
- Inguinal hernia occurs in the upper part of thigh or groin. 75% of hernia cases are related to inguinal canal. This type of hernia is more common in men as compared to women as the testicles are descended through the inguinal canal.
- Femoral hernia arises right below the groin crease and it is more common in women. They usually occur when the muscles are weakened due to results of pregnancy and childbirth. This type of hernia can lead to complications and that’s why they need treatment as soon as possible.
- Umbilical hernia occurs when the intestine starts pushing through the umbilical opening. They are most common in infants and young children. But that doesn’t mean that adults are not at risks of developing this type of hernia. And the worst thing is that it progresses over time in adults and often causes pain
- Hiatal hernia occurs when the stomach tissue protrude the diaphragm into the chest cavity. It is common in people aged above 50. This type of hernia may be present without symptoms. In some cases, they can cause heartburn or abdominal discomfort.
- Ventral hernia arises as a result of bulge or tear in the ventral surface. They are also called incisional hernia as they are most common in people who have had abdominal surgery in the past.
Apart from these four types, there are other types of hernia like periumbilical and epigastric that are less common.
What are the treatment options for hernia repair?
Surgery is the only way to treat all kinds of hernia. Hernia may be present with or without symptoms in your body. But if you want to make sure that it doesn’t cause further problems like intestinal blockage or strangulation, it is better to seek proper treatment. Hernias can be treated by open surgery or laparoscopic surgery.
- Open surgery is a procedure where incisions (5-6 cm in size) are made in the abdomen/groin region. The misplaced tissues are returned to their original location and a mesh is placed to support the abdominal muscles to keep the organ in its place.
- Laparoscopic surgery is carried out by making 3-4 small incisions (0.5cm in size) and the protruding tissues are placed back in the original position. Then the mesh is placed, if needed, to reinforce the abdominal wall.
Why is laparoscopic hernia treatment preferred?
Approved by USFDA, laparoscopic hernia treatment is a preferred method due to its various advantages like:
- It is a minimally invasive and less painful procedure that involves smaller incisions
- The post-operative pain is also reduced.
- No major scars or stitches that will leave visible marks.
- Minimize the chances of recurrence
- Faster recovery
- Suitable for multiple hernia repairs
- Allow patients to return to normal activities quicker than open surgery
How to prepare for the hernia repair surgery?
The preparation before hernia treatment is done by following the instructions below:
- Vital tests are performed before the surgery
- Surgeon may advise you to take some medicines and avoid taking certain medicines
- Restrict yourself from drinking or smoking for a few days prior to the surgery
- The surgeon will ask to avoid taking anything orally except medicines
What to do for faster recovery after hernia treatment?
The post-surgery recovery period is a crucial time for the patient. Immediately after the surgery, you will be kept under observation for 24 hours to monitor body functions.The patient is encouraged to move around and discharged within 24 hours.
During the recovery phase, the doctor will give you specific instructions to follow to speed up the healing process.
- A specific diet is given to avoid complications after the surgery.
- Medicines are prescribed to ensure that the patient can bear the post-surgery pain.
- The surgeon will suggest you keep the dressing clean and change them if needed.
- Resume physical activities only when you are comfortable.
- Make sure that you don’t strain yourself by exercising or lifting heavy weights.
- Follow-up with the doctor to ensure that recovery is going well
How to prevent recurrence of hernia?
The chances of recurrence after laparoscopic hernia treatment is almost negligible. The advanced treatment allows the surgeons to repair hernia permanently. Still, if you want to make sure that hernia doesn’t occur twice, then follow these tips:
- Avoid constipation by taking fibre-rich diet
- Don’t let cough become chronic
- Avoid strain during urination or bowel movements
- Maintain a healthy weight and exercise regularly to strengthen the muscles.