A hernia refers to a defect or hole in the wall of your abdominal cavity. The contents of your abdomen or an organ may protrude through the formed hole. The contents of your abdomen are held in place by a thick layer of tissue known as the fascia. A hernia develops at the weak points of your abdominal wall. The sites that are highly susceptible to hernia include the groin area which accounts for nearly 75% of hernias. Other areas include the umbilical and femoral areas. Some of the predisposing factors for hernia development include congenital disorders, excessive abdominal strain, family history of hernia, and age. These factors can trigger the weakening of the fascia tissues thereby permitting the protrusion of your abdominal contents.
The prevalence of hernia development in the Indian adult population is estimated at between 10 and 12 percent. However, Indian men appear to be more predisposed to hernia development, with the condition affecting nearly 25 percent of men. Specifically, age-related deficiencies and weak muscles due to congenital conditions are cited as the leading causes of hernia in the Indian population.
Watchful waiting constitutes a non-surgical treatment for hernia. Here, your surgeon will closely monitor the hernia to ascertain that it does not cause any problem and that it is not getting larger. However, surgery is the treatment of choice for dealing with a hernia defect. Some of the surgical options available for treating hernias include open repair, laparoscopic surgery, and laser surgery.
Causes of hernias
The following factors have been implicated with increased risk for hernia development:
Weak connective tissues and abdominal muscles: Connective tissues can weaken due to old age. In other people, however, the weakening of connective tissues is a birth defect. Multiple pregnancies and excessive fat can also contribute to the weakening of your abdominal walls.
Increased abdominal pressure: Pressure buildup inside your abdomen may also contribute to a hernia. If your abdominal muscles are already weak, such pressure buildup will force out your internal contents via the weak spots. Some of the predisposing factors for the rise in abdominal pressure include constipation, lifting of heavy equipment, prolonged coughing, and straining while passing urine.
Congenital defects: Being born with a congenital defect increases the risk of hernia. One of the most common types of congenital hernia is an umbilical hernia.
Other causes of hernia include:
- Obesity: Being overweight increases the risk of hernia
- Ascites: A condition resulting in your abdomen
- Damage as a result of surgery conducted to repair an injury
The following factors will elevate the risk of hernia formation
- Age: As we grow older, we are more likely to have a weakened fascia and hence an increased risk for hernia development
- Genetics: Family history of hernia puts you at a greater risk for developing the condition
- Smoking: Increases the risk of connective tissue damage
- Low birth weight or premature birth
- Cystic fibrosis
Symptoms of hernia
Some hernias do not show any symptoms. If your hernia is asymptomatic, you are likely to live with the condition and not know about it. One of the defining signs of a symptomatic hernia is that there is a protrusion or lump in the hernia region. However, the protrusion often reverts backs into your abdomen in case your abdomen is not under pressure or as you lie down.
Some patients also report experiencing hernia-related discomfort. Such discomfort usually manifest in the form of a sharp and dull pain. You may also experience heaviness and a burning sensation. The level of pain is not always commensurate with the size of hernia. You may have a small hernia but the pain is very severe. Another person might have a larger hernia that is less painful.
Other symptoms of hernia include:
- Pain as you lift any weight
- A feeling as though you have a bowel obstruction
- Hiatal hernias are associated with such symptoms as difficulty in swallowing, heartburn and chest pain
Hernias may also result in a condition known as incarceration. This entails the trapping of your abdominal contents in the hernia. Sometimes the flow of blood into the hernia can be cut off, in which case the hernias are strangulated. Strangulated and incarcerated hernias can result in redness and severe pain. You may also develop a fever associated with incarcerated and strangulated hernias.
If you have any of these conditions, it is important that you seek medical attention so that they get corrected urgently, through surgery.
How to diagnose a hernia
A physical examination by your doctor is the first procedure in the medical diagnosis of hernias. During a physical exam, your doctor will place his hands on your groin or abdomen and try to check if there is a bulge. A physical examination is followed by talking to you about your medical history. While making notes about your medical history, the doctor will pose several questions such as:
- When did you know of the bulge?
- Explain the kind of symptoms you have been experiencing
- Explain your lifestyle
Some of the risk factors for the development of hernia are:
- If your occupation entails lifting heavy equipment or weight, you might be at risk of developing a hernia. A history of vigorous physical activities also predisposes you to the development of hernia.
- History of hernias in your family
- If you have had groin or abdominal surgery
Further to the physical examination and ascertaining history, your doctor will most likely order imaging tests to further assist with the diagnosis. Some of the imaging tests that your doctor is likely to order include:
- CT scan: This test integrates computer technology and x-rays to yield an image
- Ultrasound: an abdominal ultrasound utilizes high-frequency waves to develop an image of your internal body structure
- MRI scan: This test integrates radio waves and strong magnets to develop an image
In case your doctor suspects that you might have a hiatal hernia, he can order an endoscopy or a barium X-ray.
How can we treat hernia?
Hernia is treated through non-surgical or surgical means, depending on ion the size and symptoms they present.
Watchful waiting: If your hernia does not have any symptoms or there is no potential for complications, your surgeon may decide to watch over it. During this time, the surgeons will check if the hernia is getting larger or it has the potential to cause any health problems.
Surgery: Before surgery, we will make arrangements to have you transported to our heartcare facility in one of our hospital vans. We will also assist in getting the paperwork, such as consent forms, ready. Your surgeon will keep you fully informed on the benefits and possible risks of the surgery so that you can make an informed decision. Additionally, the surgeon will update you on the various surgical procedures available. You are free to ask any questions that you might have about the surgery.
This procedure involves making a cut on that part of the body where the hernia is located. After making the cut, your surgeon will set the protruding tissues in place. Thereafter, the surgeon will stitch the weakened muscle wall into place. At times, it may be necessary to implant a mesh in the weakened muscle wall. The mesh offers additional support.
Robotic hernia surgery
Hernia repair can also be accomplished via robotic surgery. Some of the benefits of robotic surgery over laparoscopic surgery are:
- Less pain and trauma: Robotic surgery allows the surgeon to perform surgical movements with more precision and better visibility. This leads to a lower risk of damaging the surrounding tissues.
- Increased ability for complex work: Robotic instruments lend themselves to full manipulation in comparison with laparoscopic instruments.
- Reduced hospital stay: This is because there is a smaller incision involved and hence quicker recovery
However, the procedure also has its fair share of limitations, such as:
- Takes longer in comparison with laparoscopic surgery
- More expensive than laparoscopic surgery
This is a surgical procedure where your surgeon makes several incisions in the lower part of your abdomen. Your surgeon will insert a laparoscope into your abdomen to view the image of the hernia displayed on a screen. The screen also guides the surgeon with movements. During the procedure, the surgeon will remove the hernia sac from the defect. The hernia defect is then covered using a prosthetic mesh. The surgeon will then use dissolving stitches known as sutures, to close up the incision made.
Most patients who undergo non-emergent or electric hernia repair are often discharged on the same day. However, your surgeon may have to retain you in the recuperating ward for several hours at least until the pain has subsided. Your surgeon may also request that you first urinate, consume fluids and food to determine if you can tolerate them.
Laparoscopic surgery is a minimally invasive procedure. The size of cuts made is significantly less than an open surgery. Unlike open surgery, laparoscopic surgery is painless. There are no stitches or scars involved. Additionally, the chances of an infection after laparoscopic surgery are almost nil and the hospital stay is reduced to one day. This is in comparison with open surgery where the hospital stay is about 4-5 days. Moreover, laparoscopic surgery has a shorter recovery period of about 3-4 days. On the other hand, recovering from an open hernia surgery takes about 3-4 weeks.
Post-op diet and care
After the successful repair of the hernia, You can recuperate in our facility for several hours. In the case of open surgery, you may need to rest a day or two. Once the surgeon is fully satisfied that the procedure went well and that you are coping well, you will be allowed to go home. We will arrange your transport back home. After surgery, you are likely to feel sore around the area where you were operated on. However, the pain will disappear within 2 days.
- It is good to follow these guidelines during post-op care :
- Your surgeon will most likely prescribe medication to take care of any pain.
- Make sure to take the medication as prescribed by your surgeon.
- Some patients report bruising around or in the groin region following surgery. Such bruising is normal with this kind of procedure. In case the swelling around your groin is significant, it is important that you notify your surgeon immediately.
- Try to walk every day as this increases blood flow. However, you must not engage in strenuous activities such as lifting heavy objects or running.
- Include enough fruits, vegetables, and whole-grain in your diet. A diet rich in dietary fiber will improve your bowel movement and hence prevent constipation.
- If you are straining during bowel movements, you are more likely to add pressure to the repaired hernia. Your doctor might recommend the use of a stool softener, in case it is necessary.
Should you develop any complications such as chills, fever, and severe pain, notify us immediately.
If you have a hernia, you should get it treated quickly. A hernia occurs when an internal organ exerts pressure on a weak region in a muscle or tissue. Hernia can be of many types but they all need medical consultation and treatment.
Laparoscopic hernia repair surgery is effective and safe for the treatment of hernia.
Benefits of laparoscopic hernia repair surgery
Laparoscopic hernia repair surgery is usually performed under general anesthesia. The overriding benefits as compared to open surgery are :
- Less pain compared to open surgery
- Three small scars as compared to a large incision in open surgery
- Faster resumption of routine activities and work
- Much lesser time for complete recovery
Why goficure for hernia?
There are many hospitals in Bangalore offering various forms of treatment for hernia. goficure has already curated well-researched data on specialists and hospitals that perform successful laparoscopic surgeries. Further, we at goficure are already working with many of these specialists and are completely aware of the process.
Some of the highlights of Goficure services for patients suffering hernia are as follows:
- Connecting patient with the best laparoscopic surgeon in Bangalore
- Scheduling the quickest appointment
- Fixing the slot for surgery
- Handling the logistics of transportation, medical care, insurance claims till completion at Bangalore
- Regulating post-operative care which includes post-op consultation, monitoring prescription medication, enabling diet plans after consultation with a nutritionist at Bangalore
- Complete care till the patient is back to normal
goficure is a small investment for a quick remedy to hernia and prevention of serious complications. A complete package leaves patients tension-free.
1. Dedicated Medi-Pal
A dedicated Medi-Pal is assigned to you. Your Medi-Pal will be your one point contact throughout the treatment and post-op period. They will always be available for you
2. Quick doctor’s appointments
After understanding your concerns, your Medi-Pal will schedule your consultation with a specialist doctor. Your doctor will carry out necessary tests and advise the course of treatment
3. Hassle-free treatment
If you opt to get the surgery done, goficure will take care of it completely. Right from booking your surgery, claiming your insurance to being with you throughout the procedure, your Medi-Pal will do it all
4. Post-op recovery support
Your Medi-Pal would ensure quick recovery. This includes booking your follow up consultations and helping you with doctor-recommended steps for diet & exercise
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Post procedure care and follow-ups
Our engagement doesn't end after your surgery. It continue until you go back to your normal life. Free diet and exercise consultations during your recovery phase are offered to ensure a quick recovery