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By Marilyn Royce

Hernias are a common condition that can occur when there is an abnormal bulge or hernia in the wall of body-parts such as the stomach, intestine, urethra or bladder. There are also uncommon types of hernia such as spigelian hernia. But the most common type is a simple umbilical hernia which occurs when excess abdominal tissue presses the belly button forward. After you treat it, you definitely will need special products, luckily we know where to buy ostomy products and other medical supplies as well. 

What Symptoms Indicate Hernias?

Simple hernias can usually be repaired with minimally invasive laparoscopic surgery. Symptoms may include swelling, pain or discomfort in the abdomen, feelings of fullness and heaviness in the abdominal area, and bowel or gas discomfort.

More serious hernias can lead to complications such as infection and bowel obstruction. 

In these cases there is a higher risk of needing emergency surgery if the hernia becomes strangulated (in which case it stops draining).

What is the Most Common Type of Hernia?

The most common type of hernia is called an umbilical hernia. Umbilical refers to the umbilicus, a small, comma-shaped area of tissue on the bellybutton of baby’s belly. The tissue is called the navel and it is at this area that an umbilical hernia forms when tissues bulge through an opening in the belly. This type of hernia occurs mainly in women after child birth or while they are pregnant.

Another common type is called sportsman’s hernia. This occurs when someone does repetitive activities that cause sudden increases in intra-abdominal pressure like heavy lifting.

Other Types

There are many types of hernia, each with individual and more specific symptoms. Some of these include: 

  • Strangulated (ruptured) hernia, often associated with high levels of abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting. Surgery is usually needed to repair this condition immediately to prevent further complications from occurring. 
  • Femoral (groin) hernia, often caused by a weakened spot in the abdominal muscle, occurs when part of the intestine bulges through a weak spot in the muscle. This can cause pain, swelling and even blockage of the blood supply to the intestine. 
  • Hiatal hernia, which is a bulge from above the diaphragm through to the stomach. This condition causes an increased risk of GERD or acid reflux. This can lead to stomach ulcers and gastro-intestinal bleeding. Six percent of the population suffers from this condition, which is more common in women than men. 
  • Inguinal hernia, which is a hernia around the groin area or in the muscles that run down through the thigh. This condition can cause pain and swelling around the groin, along with problems passing urine or stool. 
  • Rectal (peri-anal) hernia, usually occurs after surgery on anorectal fistulas. In these cases, the opening caused by the fistula cannot be closed and part of the bowel bulges through.

In general, hernias are relatively common and rarely mean any serious consequences for one’s health. 

Are Hernias Dangerous?

Hernias are typically not dangerous and in most cases they do not need to be treated. There is one type of hernia, however, which is more dangerous than any other and that is the umbilical (navel) hernia. This type of hernia can become strangulated if it becomes trapped in the abdominal cavity. 

The risk of strangulation increases with the severity of the herniated tissue, so it is common for patients to be worried about this type of hernia when they come for surgery.

Strangulation is a medical emergency and the person suffering from strangulation may need surgical intervention to remove their hernia. 

How Hernias are Treated?

Unfortunately, you can’t get rid of a hernia with pills, in the vast majority of cases. It demands surgical invasion. However, it’s not as bad as it sounds: some hernias are easily treated in routine non-invasive operations. 

Advice on Hernias

The most crucial thing with this condition is to get medical help immediately after you start to feel unwell. 

If you have a strong feeling that you have hernia, it is best to go to your doctor immediately and not wait. 

If you don’t feel well, you should go and ask your physician whether it’s really something that could be treated by yourself. Make sure that the right treatment is chosen for each case-type. In the absence of any complications developing after surgery, the chances of a person suffering from hernias getting worse or requiring another operation are slim at worst.