Any instance in which an internal organ is pushing through the muscles holding it in place is called a hernia. Hernias occur in various areas in the body, but the most common are through the abdominal muscle. Often, they can cause a small bulge that can be felt through the skin, and you may experience pain or discomfort. In some cases, you may have no noticeable symptoms whatsoever, in which case it would be detected during a medical examination.
Types of Hernias
A hernia can occur in a number of ways, including the following:
- Inguinal: An inguinal hernia occurs in the lower abdominal area. Part of the bladder or intestine leaks out into the inguinal canal in the groin.
- Femoral: This is when the intestine protrudes into the femoral artery canal near the upper thigh.
- Umbilical: Umbilical hernias occur near the bellybutton. The intestine will push through the abdominal wall, often showing in the skin as a bulge.
- Hiatal: Your diaphragm has an opening that allows the esophagus to pass through. This opening, called the hiatus, is a point at which your stomach may poke through as well.
- Incisional: Abdominal surgery leaves weak points in the muscle, and your intestine may break through if it doesn’t heal back to full strength.
Each of these is a possibility for anyone, though some types can be more likely with certain risk factors. For example, inguinal hernias are more common in men, whereas a femoral hernia tends to occur in women who are pregnant or overweight.
Causes and Risk Factors
Hernias can result from a variety of factors, some of which include:
- Past abdominal surgery
- Heavy lifting
- Constant sneezing or coughing
- Constipation and other bowel-related issues
- Poor nutrition
In general, if there are factors that put a lot of pressure on the abdominal area or which weaken muscle, then you are at risk for a hernia.
The only way to permanently treat a hernia is through surgery. Abdominal surgeons such as Dr. Malladi can help you determine what options are available for repairing your hernia. If you think you are in need of hernia repair surgery, contact us today!