How Serious Is Hernia? What are the Symptoms and Treatment Options?

To understand the seriousness of a hernia, one must first know what is a hernia? Ever wondered what holds your organs in place, in the abdomen? It’s a muscular lining called peritoneum that runs throughout the abdomen. It acts as a wall to support the organs. But when this lining gets weak, the organs or tissues tend to bulge from the weakened spot. This bulging portion is known as a hernia.

A hernia may simply appear as a lump beneath the skin.  But if it’s size keeps increasing or becomes painful, then it needs to be treated.

Here are the symptoms of a hernia:

A lump kind of a projection in the abdomen or lower abdomen. A hernia is felt more prominently when you stand, cough or touch the area. Depending upon its location, it might seem to disappear when you lie down.

You might need hernia treatment if you experience the following symptoms:

  • Pain while bending, coughing, sneezing, laughing or lifting anything heavy
  • Inability to sleep/ lie down on your stomach
  • Discomfort upon touching the lump or when it accidentally rubs against an object
  • Nausea
  • Heartburn or the sensation of acidity. This happens if a hernia is on the upper side of your stomach and protrudes into the chest area
  • Constipation or difficulty in letting out stool. This happens when a hernia is near the groin

These symptoms are indicators that the part of the organ or tissue is not getting ample blood supply.  The lump will turn dark in colour if the blood circulation is almost nil. Alternatively, the symptoms could also mean that portions of the bowel or toxins have entered the hernia. Both these cases require instant medical attention.

How to treat a hernia?

After an endoscopy (putting a tiny camera in the body) or an ultrasound, your doctor will decide the best course of action. Losing weight and indulging in healthy habits may reduce hernia symptoms,but  surgery is the only effective treatment option to cure a hernia  because:

  • The protruding portion of the organ or tissues needs to be put back in its original place or removed completely
  • The hole or the weakness in the abdominal lining (peritoneum) needs to be repaired. The hole is either stitched or is secured with a surgical mesh. This is done to keep the abdominal lining strong and to further avoid the reoccurrence of a hernia

Depending upon the location and condition of a hernia, the doctor may suggest either a regular (open) surgery or a laparoscopy. A laparoscopic surgery is minimally invasive. This means lesser and smaller cuts, hence lesser pain and faster recovery.

Post surgery, you will have to take some precautions in order to reduce the chances of a hernia resurfacing. These include – avoiding lifting heavy weights, avoiding pregnancy for a while, keeping your weight in check, using a compression belt, etc.

The cure for any ailment is only effective when you choose the right doctor. To consult one of India’s finest surgeons, visit Apollo Spectra.

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