A hernia happens when an organ bulges through a weak spot in a supporting muscle. Genetics, weight challenges, chronic coughing, pregnancy, lifting heavy objects, and even smoking can increase your risk of developing a hernia.
Hernias occur in different parts of the body. No matter where you have one, the team here at Lakeland Surgical Clinic, PLLC, located in Jackson, Mississippi, recommends you don’t ignore hernias. Waiting too long to get treatment can cause significant pain and movement limitations. In some cases, hernias can be life-threatening.
Here’s what you need to know about hernias and why you should seek treatment today to find the best management and treatment plan.
Hernias show up differently depending on the type:
Inguinal hernias are the most common and affect about 25% of men. They’re diagnosed when part of your bowel pushes into a passageway that runs down your inner thigh, known as the inguinal canal.
This type of hernia is not common and occurs in the groin.
Hiatal hernias become more common as you age, affecting almost 50% of people older than 50. A hiatal hernia happens in the diaphragm area — part of your stomach pushes through and into your chest. Hiatal hernias commonly cause acid reflux.
Incisional hernias commonly occur after abdominal surgery. They happen when tissue protrudes through a former incision in your abdominal wall.
Umbilical hernias are usually present from birth. They occur when part of your intestine protrudes through your abdominal wall near your belly button.
This type of hernia is quite rare. A perineal hernia describes when organs or tissue protrudes through a weakness in your pelvic floor.
Generally, symptoms of a hernia vary depending on the location of your hernia.
A noticeable lump in the affected area is a telltale sign of a hernia. The lump may only appear during certain activities or when you’re in specific positions.
A hernia may also cause pressure, pinching, or a dull ache. You may notice these symptoms most when laughing, coughing, straining, or lifting.
Not all hernias require immediate surgery, but it’s essential to have one checked out when you notice it. Don’t wait until the pain becomes excruciating or it threatens your life.
If your hernia is mild, we may recommend monitoring it for a time. Hernias that can wait for surgery go away when you lie down. You’re also able to push it back into your belly. Hernias that are small and cause no symptoms (or very few) may never need surgery.
In rare cases, a hernia can become strangulated, leading to an emergency situation. Get emergency care if you have a lump in your abdomen and sharp pain, nausea, and vomiting.
Most hernias will eventually need surgical repair. We perform a small incision and push the protruded tissue back into place.
Surgery is usually necessary if tissue has become trapped in the abdominal wall. That puts you at risk for tissue strangulation. Surgery is always needed in these cases.
Hernias that cause pain or limit movements require surgery to relieve your discomfort. Hernias that continue to grow should also be treated.
If you suspect you have a hernia, contact Lakeland Surgical Clinic, PLLC, to have it evaluated. Call today or use the online tool to set up your consultation.