Beware A Strange Growth
The organs in the lower body are held in place by the muscles of the abdominal wall. A hernia is a common condition where there is a hole or weakness in the wall. The hole causes an organ, tissue, or fat to poke through. Hernias appear as a bulge in the affected area and can be tender to the touch. Inguinal hernias are groin hernias. With inguinal hernias, the intestine, fat, or the bladder pushes through the inguinal canal. About 75% of all hernias are inguinal. While there are a few risk factors for hernias, these 3 are most common.
1. Bulging at birth
Most cases of inguinal hernias are congenital, meaning present at birth. Hernias happen most often in premature children or those with low birth weight. The inguinal canal can be weaker than in full-term babies, increasing the risk for a bulge. Boys and young males are especially at risk. Inguinal hernias are 10 times more likely to happen in men than women. During development, the testicles descend into the scrotum. This leaves a space for parts of the bladder or intestine to protrude.
2. Poor lifestyle, big problems
Add inguinal hernias to the risk associated with having a poor lifestyle. Smoking, for instance, reduces the strength of tissue walls due to lower circulation. The damage increases the chances of hernias in adults. Obesity due to poor lifestyle choices is also a factor. While a lifestyle change cannot undo an existing hernia, the change will reduce the risk.
3. Forcing the issue
Persons who suffer from chronic constipation are at risk for inguinal hernias. The excessive strain can damage the abdominal wall, pelvic floor, or inguinal region. Hernias can also cause blockages in the bowel. This is where the condition can get dangerous. Speak with a doctor to find out the reason behind constipation.
Treating the inguinal hernia
A bulge in the groin area is the most prominent symptom of a hernia. Some persons will see the protrusion when coughing, straining, or lifting heavy objects. Most inguinal hernias cause no immediate health risk. Persons with hernias often visit the doctor out of concern for the sudden protrusion. At this point, the doctor takes a wait-and-see approach. However, there are occasions where the hernia could potentially cut off blood supply or damage organs. If so, the doctor will then decide on one of the 2 surgical procedures to repair the damage.
Open surgical repair
Open surgery is a more intrusive approach to inguinal hernia repair. This procedure has been around for decades and has been very useful. The surgeon will make 2 incisions in the area to reveal the hernia. The surgeon will then move the tissue or organ back to the right place. Using a piece of mesh, the surgeon reinforces the inguinal wall, then stitches up the surgical wounds. Over time, new tissue grows over the mesh, keeping everything in place.
Tiny cuts can bring significant results
With advancements in technology came the minimally invasive laparoscopic approach. The surgeon makes a 1-inch incision to insert the laparoscope. This gives a clear view of the hernia via a high-powered camera. The surgeon then makes 2 more incisions to add other micro tools. These tools help put the contents back in place and reinforce the area with mesh. Minimally invasive surgery means reduced scarring. However, research has shown there is no difference in healing time compared to open surgery. Laparoscopic surgery is effective when the hernia is detected early and is common for young children.
Get hernia help today
Hernias may not pose an immediate threat. However, men and women should be aware of the risk factors. Monitor the inguinal hernia closely and speak with a doctor about any discomfort or pain. In some cases, the doctor will decide on surgery. While all surgical procedures have risks, inguinal hernia repair has a high success rate and will improve the quality of life.