Hernia develops once an internal region of the body specifically the intestine protrudes via a weakened site in the overlying muscular wall. This results to a soft lump in the area.
What are the signs?
If an individual has a hernia, the signs generally include:
- Abrupt pain when lifting or straining that often settles after an initial period of discomfort
- Soft lump can be felt in the lower region of the abdomen or groin
- The lump might come and go as the internal segment moves in and out of the gap in the muscular wall
- Oftentimes, the lump might fully disappear when lying down or become bigger when coughing.
Possible causes and risk factors
A hernia is likely to develop among men than women. A hernia often develops from a sudden strain or force such as lifting heavy objects, but this is not always the case. In some cases, it can form for no evident reason.
Other potential risk factors include:
- Age – the risk is higher as one gets older
- Weight – being overweight and obese
- Long-term constipation
- Long-term episodes of coughing that places strain on the abdominal wall
Management of a hernia
Even though the treatment of most cases of hernia is not urgent, it is generally suggested to have one surgically fixed. Remember that there is a possibility for the hernia to grow bigger and cause more discomfort as well as increase the risk of strangulation if not fixed.
The surgical procedure usually takes an hour. In most cases, the individual can go home the next day and resume work after a week. The procedure typically involves a piece of mesh to fix the hole in the abdominal wall.