During the hernia an internal organ protrudes out through any weak spot on the body, and it can either be in the muscle or tissue. There are several types of hernia, such as umbilical hernia. femoral hernia, inguinal hernia, hiatal hernia, etc. But, the real question lies – how important is it to treat a hernia?
According to medical specialists, a hernia must be treated immediately; otherwise, it can lead to life-threatening conditions. So, let’s get to know how you can prevent it. However, if you already have a hernia, then we will guide you on what should be your next step.
What is the cause of hernia?
The primary cause of a hernia is – if there is any weak muscle, which may be due to birth or due to aging, or if you have put any repeated pressure on the abdomen or groin, then it can lead to a hernia. Other than that, unintentional strain can occur due to obesity, pregnancy, or strain on the toilet due to constipation or repeated coughing. This puts pressure on the abdominal cavity, leading to a hernia.
Symptoms of hernia
The general symptoms are that – at the very beginning, you will notice a lump which can be pushed back or disappears when you lie down. The lump reappears only when you are coughing, putting strain during bowel movements, laughing or crying.
If you ignore this lump, it can lead to a pouch-like appearance with intensive pain. You can also feel pain while lifting, walking or running. An aching sensation can be felt all the time, along with a sensation of bowel obstructions.
However, in the case of a hiatal hernia, there are no such symptoms. Instead, you will feel digestion problems, difficulty in swallowing, heartburn, severe chest pain and regurgitation.
When you consult with a doctor, the first process is to conduct a physical examination and then you will be prescribed a certain tissue imaging test, such as a CT scan.
Treatment for hernia
The treatment prescribed for hernia is surgery. There are 3 types of surgery that are conducted –
- Open surgery – A small cut is made into the body, specifically at the location of the hernia, and the protruding tissue is placed at its original position. Finally, the muscles are stitched back together. If required, a mesh is implanted to provide extra support. This procedure requires more time to get cured when compared with the other types of surgery.
- Laparoscopic surgery – This is quite similar to open surgery; however, the only exception is that the cut is made right outside the abdomen, and surgical tools are used to insert the protruding tissue back in its place. This requires minimal cuts and heals much more quickly.
- Robotic hernia repair – Here also laparoscope is used to perform the incision, but the surgeon operates the entire surgery through a console. All the surgical instruments are handled by the console, and these are usually performed for smaller hernia or to construct the abdomen wall.
Based on the patient’s condition, condition of the hernia, type of hernia, and previous medical history of the patient, the surgery is recommended and performed.
If the hernia is not treated on time, it can lead to obstructions within the intestine, leading to chronic chest pain, vomiting, stomach pain, nausea, etc. Along with that, a part of the intestine can also get trapped in the lump, and it will restrict the proper blood flow. If this keeps on occurring for a couple of hours, it can lead to tissue death.
The best way to prevent hernia is to maintain a healthy life, along with –
- You must eat healthy food, exercise regularly and maintain your ideal body weight.
- Add fruit, vegetables and green to your diet to avoid constipation.
- Do not lift heavy weights without consulting with the gym instructor or beyond your capability.
- If there is persistent coughing or sneezing, then do consult with the doctor.
- Smoking cigarettes can lead to coughing, which triggers a hernia, so avoid smoking.
After hernia surgery
It is usually advised that the patient can go back home after a few hours after the surgery is done. However, this can extend to the next day or 24 hours, based on the surgical process. However, if there is a chance of developing an infection or if the case is quite critical, then a few more days can be required till the hospital discharges.
Restrictions after the surgery
Mostly there is nothing to fear about, and the patient can resume normal eating and activities within the next 4 to 6 weeks. But, it is strictly prohibited that strenuous exercises should be avoided. If the surgical wounds do not recover properly, then it can lead to complications, such as urine retention, infection, scrotal edema or collection of fluid around the testis.
So, there are specific doses and don’ts that you need to follow right after the surgery. This will help quicken the recovery phase.
Do’s after hernia surgery
- Take a brisk walk in the evening or early in the morning.
- Avoid direct sunlight or working outside at noon.
- Try to do some stretching exercises.
- Eat a lot of vegetables, fibers and add a healthy diet to your food list.
- Drink fresh, hygienic and enough fluid. You can also drink fluid in the form of broth or soup.
Don’ts after hernia surgery
It is usually said that it takes 4 to 5 weeks to get back to normal activities, but you must take precautions for at least 6 months. This will help to prevent the chances of recurrence of the hernia. So, try –
- Avoid any heavy lifts or go to the gym for 3 to 4 months.
- Avoid smoking and drinking for at least 6 -7 months.
- You should not put pressure on your bowel movements.
- Try to avoid running on the staircase or any task that requires strenuous activity.
A hernia is not life-threatening, but ignoring the symptoms and not paying attention to its treatment can lead to severe risk. So, you must consult with the best medical facilities of ILS Hospitals for proper treatment. To avoid complications, you must also go for follow-ups, as prescribed, even after the surgery.