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what-is-inguinal-hernia

What is Inguinal Hernia?

Inguinal hernia is a type of hernia that develops due to a weak point in the inguinal canal. It can cause a lot of discomfort and interrupt the ability to perform basic activities. And surgery is the most plausible solution to repair the hernia. During the surgery, the weakness in the abdominal wall through which the abdominal content slips out into the inguinal canal is repaired.
Surgery is the ultimate treatment for an inguinal hernia as well as other types of hernias as they don’t resolve on its own. It can be performed electively or on an emergency basis depending on the severity of the condition. Elective hernia surgery is offered to the patients after considering the level of pain/discomfort, degree of disruption, as well as the overall health of the patient.
Emergency surgery is typically performed on patients who develop life-threatening complications, such as strangulation or incarceration.

how-does-inguinal-hernia-form

How does inguinal hernia form?

Inguinal hernia, also known as groin hernia, forms when the abdominal tissues or organs push through a weak spot in the inguinal canal. This type of hernia typically occurs in males in which the opening between the testicles and abdomen is not closed properly. Normally, the opening closes shortly after the birth. But when the opening is partly open, it compromises the integrity of the muscle wall and creates a weak spot.
When the tissues start pushing against the weak spot, a bulge starts to form that may or may not cause any symptoms at first. But as the bulge continues to push the muscle wall and creates a hole, symptoms will start to appear.

Types of Inguinal Hernia

direct-inguinal-hernia

Direct Inguinal Hernia

indirect-inguinal-hernia

Indirect Inguinal Hernia

Causes

  • Excess pressure on the abdominal muscle wall
  • Pre-existing weak spot in the wall around the inguinal canal
  • Straining during bowel movements
  • Strenuous exercises or physical activities
  • Chronic cough or sneezing

Symptoms

  • A bulge in the groin region
  • Burning or aching in the bulge
  • Occasional pain and discomfort in the groin
  • Feeling pressure or weakness in the area
  • Pain or swelling around the testicles (in males)

Diagnosis

An inguinal hernia starts with a small lump in the groin region. Even in the earlier stage, you will be able to feel the lump around the pubic bone. If you notice such a lump, note down or mark the location. Lie down and make a note of whether the lump disappears or becomes smaller. If so, it may be an inguinal hernia.
The best thing to do next is to consult a hernia specialist and get properly diagnosed.

self-diagnosis

Severity

Inguinal hernia in the early stage can be managed by restricting the physical activities of the patient. As the condition progresses, it becomes severe and exhibits symptoms like-

  • Difficulty in performing the basic activities, including walking and climbing stairs.
  • Pain that comes and goes (sometimes stay for a long period)
  • The hernia cannot be pushed back inside.

Symptomatic hernias are usually severe and it is always better to seek medical help to prevent them from advancing further.

severity

  • severity

    Prevention

    severity

    As inguinal hernia usually arises due to congenital weakness, it is difficult to prevent the condition from developing. However, if there are no congenital defects in the body, the following tips can be used to prevent an inguinal hernia from developing-

    • Maintain a healthy weight through a balanced diet and exercise. Healthy food will provide ample nutrients to the body and exercise will strengthen the muscles. Thus, there will be lower chances of developing all kinds of hernia.
    • Focus on the quality of food as well. Take a fiber-rich diet and drink plenty of water to prevent constipation as it is one of the primary causes of abdominal strain.
    • Avoid performing strenuous activities that are beyond your limits, including lifting heavy objects or exercising longer than necessary.

    Visit a doctor for a full-body checkup after every 6 months. Regular body checkups will make it easier for the doctor to identify if there is any health problem that you should worry about, including inguinal hernia.

When to consult an inguinal hernia doctor?

Normally, you should consult a hernia doctor as soon as you notice the bulge in the groin region. This will ensure that the condition doesn’t progress further. However, in most cases, people don’t pay much attention to the bulge and don’t take the necessary precautions as well. Due to this, the condition advances and ultimately require medical treatment.

If the following symptoms are present, you should promptly visit a doctor-

  • Fever
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Extreme pain
  • Warm bulge and redness around the skin
  • Inability to pass gas or stool

These symptoms indicate that the hernia is most probably strangulated and surgical repair is required immediately.

Questions to ask your doctor

How many years of experience do you have?
What is the best treatment method for inguinal hernia?
Are there any alternative treatment options besides hernia surgery?
Will a mesh be used for the repair?
Are there any risks associated with the procedure?
What is the success rate of open and laparoscopic inguinal hernia repair?
How long will I need to recover completely?
When can I go back to work?
What are the chances that hernia will recur after surgery?

Treatment Options & Cost

If the hernia is not bothering the patient and there are no clear symptoms, the doctor will recommend watchful waiting. If required, the doctor may also suggest using a supportive truss to help the patient get relief from the symptoms.

insurance-coverage

Insurance coverage

Inguinal hernia can lead to life-threatening complications which is why its treatment is necessary. Thus, the treatment is covered under the insurance policy. You can pay for the entire treatment by using the insurance through cashless or reimbursement payment modes.

However, the amount of coverage you have in the purchased policy may vary. Hence, the amount you can claim may be limited and there is a possibility that the entire treatment cost may not be covered. Therefore, it is advised that before getting admitted to a hospital, you have a detailed discussion with the insurance provider and find out how much coverage you have for inguinal hernia treatment.

insurance-coverage
recovery-rate

Recovery rate

The recovery after inguinal hernia surgery depends on the technique used. When the laparoscopic technique is used for the repair, the complete recovery takes around 3-4 weeks. You will be able to resume normal activities like walking, climbing stairs, sitting, etc. within the first week, but the surgical wound would need longer for recovery.

In case open surgery is performed to repair the hernia, the recovery rate will be slow and you may need around 4-6 weeks to recover completely and return to your normal routine.

recovery-rate

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Expert Say

FAQ

Why inguinal hernia is more common in males than in females?

Men often have a higher risk of developing inguinal hernia because the male testicle descends from the abdomen and then goes down in the groin region to reach the scrotum (the sac that holds the testicles). Normally, there is an opening from where the testicle descends and it closes shortly after birth. However, in some males, the opening doesn’t close creates a weak spot in the groin region and leads to an inguinal hernia.

What is the difference between inguinal hernia and femoral hernia?

The key difference between inguinal and femoral hernia is the location from where the intestine or tissues bulges out. The inguinal hernia develops when the tissues push through an opening in the inguinal canal. In a femoral hernia, the tissues push through the femoral canal from where the femoral artery and vein passes. Both types of hernias can arise in both men and women.

What kind of doctor should I see for inguinal hernia treatment?

A general surgeon and a gastroenterologist would be the right type of doctor to get treatment for inguinal hernia or any other type of hernia. They specialize in both conventional and modern techniques that are used for hernia treatment.

Is it a good idea to delay hernia surgery?

If the inguinal hernia is not causing any problems, then it is alright to delay surgery. Hernia surgery is normally delayed when the condition is not that severe. In the earlier stages, the doctors suggest using a truss for support and to keep the hernia in place. If the hernia starts causing pain and affect the life of the individual, then surgery is recommended.

Is there an alternative treatment for inguinal hernia?

No. The doctors usually recommend watchful waiting if the hernia is not that serious. During this period, you can take preventative measures to stop the hernia from progressing. If prevention doesn’t work, then ultimately surgery will be required to treat the hernia.

Does ayurvedic or homeopathic treatment work for inguinal hernia?

Ayurvedic and homeopathic treatment only helps to manage the symptoms of inguinal hernia but it doesn’t resolve the problem. Surgery is the only effective method to treat the hernia.

Do the scars from inguinal hernia surgery go away?

The extent of scarring after inguinal hernia surgery depends on the technique used for the repair. If the open technique was used, there will be a single long scar on the abdomen that may fade after 4-6 months. If the laparoscopic technique is used, there will be 2-3 small-sized scars that will disappear within 3-4 months and may become almost unnoticeable.

What happens to the hernia mesh after surgery?

In most cases, the non-absorbable hernia mesh remains inside the body as a permanent implant. If the absorbable mesh is used, it degrades and loses strength over time.

Is hernia mesh removed after the abdominal muscle wall heals?

If needed, the doctor may perform hernia mesh removal surgery in patients who experience chronic pain, infection, or other mesh-related complications.

Statistics-

– Inguinal hernia accounts for 75% of cases of hernias.

– Repair of inguinal hernia is one of the most common operations performed in general surgeries.

– Around 25% of males and 2% of females across the globe get inguinal hernias.

– Approximately 90% of all cases of inguinal hernia occur in males.

 

Pristyn Care is Here to Assist You Throughout the Journey for Inguinal Hernia Treatment

Being one of the leading healthcare providers in India, Pristyn Care is dedicated to simplifying the treatment journey of the patients. We follow a patient-centric approach through which we provide specialized treatment to everyone. Our medical and non-medical staff provide complete assistance to the patients who seek inguinal hernia treatment or any other kind of treatment with us.

  • We handle all aspects of the treatment journey, including-
  • Scheduling the appointment with the doctor
  • Booking diagnostic tests at the labs
  • Arranging a cab service for travel on the day of surgery
  • Flexible payment system along with No-Cost EMI option
  • Handling insurance paperwork and claim process
  • Personal care providers during the hospital stay
  • Making follow-up appointments for consultation

Pristyn Care representatives will be at your service from the moment you get in touch with us till the day you have recovered completely. We will provide round-the-clock assistance to ensure that there are no obstacles in inguinal hernia treatment.

 

Consult with Inguinal Hernia Specialist at Pristyn Care

If you’ve been having problems in performing even basic activities due to inguinal hernia, it is time that you consult the hernia specialists at Pristyn Care and discuss the treatment option with the experts.

Typically, surgery is the only and best solution for all kinds of hernias. There are different types and techniques available for hernia surgery. The doctor chooses the type of surgery and the technique that will be used to repair the hernia after proper diagnosis.

So, book a free appointment with the best general surgeons near you and consult them to get rid of inguinal hernia effectively.

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