Abdominal Hernia

Abdominal Hernia Surgery

What is an abdominal Hernia?

A hernia occurs when an organ or fatty tissue squeezes through a weak spot in a surrounding muscle or connective tissue called fascia. The most common types of hernia are inguinal (inner groin), incisional (resulting from an incision), femoral (outer groin), umbilical (belly button), and hiatal (upper stomach).

In an inguinal hernia, the intestine or the bladder protrudes through the abdominal wall or into the inguinal canal in the groin. About 96% of all groin hernias are inguinal, and most occur in men because of a natural weakness in this area.

In an incisional hernia, the intestine pushes through the abdominal wall at the site of previous abdominal surgery. This type is most common in elderly or overweight people who are inactive after abdominal surgery.

A femoral hernia occurs when the intestine enters the canal carrying the femoral artery into the upper thigh. Femoral hernias are most common in women, especially those who are pregnant or obese.

In an umbilical hernia, part of the small intestine passes through the abdominal wall near the navel. Common in newborns, it also commonly afflicts obese women or those who have had many children.

A hiatal hernia happens when the upper stomach squeezes through the hiatus, an opening in the diaphragm through which the esophagus passes.

What are the signs and symptoms of an abdominal hernia?

Most people can feel a bulge where an inguinal hernia develops in the groin. There may be a burning or sharp pain sensation in the area because of inflammation of the inguinal nerve or a full feeling in the groin ith activity. I a hernia occurs because of an event like lifting a heavy weight, a sharp or tearing pain may be felt. However, many people do not have any complaint other than a feeling of fullness in the area of the inguinal canl.

Complications occurwhen a piece of intestine or omentum becomes trapped (incarcerated) in the hernia sac. A piece of bowel mayenter the hernia and become stuck. If the bowel swlls, it can cause a surgical emergency as it loses its blood supply and becomes strangulated. In this situation, there can be significant pain and nausea and vomiting, signaling the possible development of a bowel obstruction. Fever may be associated with strangulated, dead bowel.

What types of surgery repai an abdominal hernia?

Surgery to repair a hernia may use a laparoscope or an open procedure called a herniorrhaphy, where the surgeon directly repairs the hernia through an incision in the abdominal wall. The type of operation depends upon the clinical situation and the urgency of surgery. The decision as to which operation to perform depends upon the patient’s clinical situation.

Other abdominal wall hernias can similarly be repaired to strengthen the defect in the abdominal wall and decrease the complication risk of bowel incarceration and strangulation.