A hernia is a bulge that occurs when an organ or tissue pushes through a weak spot in the muscle or tissue that holds it in place. Hernias can occur in many different places in the body, but they are most common in the abdomen.
What causes a hernia?
Hernias can be caused by a number of factors, including:
● Age – Hernias are more common in older adults.
● Genetics – People who have a family history of hernias are more likely to develop them themselves.
● Occupation – People who lift heavy objects or who are obese are at an increased risk of developing hernias.
● Smoking – Smoking can weaken the muscles and tissues in the abdomen, making it more likely that a hernia will develop.
Hernias are usually not painful, but they can sometimes cause discomfort, especially when coughing, lifting heavy objects, or straining. There is sometimes a chance that a hernia can become strangulated, which means that the blood supply to the herniated organ is cut off. When a hernia becomes strangulated, this is a serious medical emergency and immediate surgery is required.
If you have a hernia, your doctor will likely recommend surgery to repair it. There are two main types of hernia repair surgery: open surgery and laparoscopic surgery.
Open surgery is the traditional method of hernia repair. During open surgery, the surgeon makes a small incision in the groin or thigh and pushes the herniated organ back into place. The surgeon then strengthens the weak spot in the muscle or tissue with stitches or a mesh patch.
Laparoscopic surgery is a newer, less invasive method of hernia repair. During laparoscopic surgery, the surgeon makes several small incisions in the abdomen and inserts a laparoscope, a thin tube with a camera on the end. The surgeon uses the laparoscope to see inside the abdomen and to insert surgical instruments. The herniated organ is then pushed back into place and the weak spot in the muscle or tissue is strengthened with stitches or a mesh patch. Laparoscopic surgery is advantaged over its open counterpart in that recovery is quicker and the incidence of chronic groin pain is much reduced.
After surgery, you will need to rest and take it easy for a few days. You will also need to avoid lifting heavy objects and strenuous activity for several weeks if you have had open surgery, a much shorter period if you have had key hole surgery. Most people are able to return to their normal activities within a few weeks of surgery.
Hernia repair surgery is a safe and effective procedure. The risks of surgery include:
To arrange an appointment to discuss hernia repair surgery, please get in touch with Mr Andrew Clarke by calling our clinic on 07501 150298, or fill out the contact form.