A hernia is a potentially painful condition that happens when soft tissue pushes through a hole in the muscle lining of the stomach or groin. People at the highest risk for a hernia usually perform a lot of heavy lifting. Chronic lifting can place a great deal of stress on the abdominal region.
In most cases, hernias don’t require medical treatment. In extreme cases, they can be life-threatening. If you develop certain symptoms, it is advisable to seek out emergency care as soon as possible.
Hernia Signs and Symptoms
- Bulge under the skin in the groin or abdominal region. This is generally a typical sign of a hernia
- Does the bulge disappear? If the bulge flattens out when you lay on it, there is likely no medical emergency. If the bulge does not flatten, that is a sign that it is trapped and requires immediate medical attention
- Is there discomfort when you strain, sneeze, or engage in physical activities? Hernias can cause pain. It ranges from dull and achy to sharp and sudden
Hernia mesh is often used to shore up the weak tissue in the affected area by the hernia. The mesh has been known to cause problems over time including infection, mesh shrinkage, bowel obstruction, and even the recurrence of the hernia; so, hernia mesh complications aren’t rare. Here are the two types of surgical mesh:
- Absorbable – This mesh is made by a degradable animal tissue such as skin or cow intestines. It is also intended for temporary support while tissues repair. After a short amount of time, the animal mesh is completely absorbed into the system.
- Non-absorbable – This mesh is constructed of synthetic woven material. It is considered a permanent implant to the body. This is the most common type of mesh and the most problematic.
Treatment for Hernia
If pain or discomfort persists, you should get to an emergency room immediately. In some cases, an infected hernia can leak gangrene into the bowel system in only a few short hours. There are a number of safe and effective methods to treat a hernia.
While surgery is almost always the treatment of choice, the hernia can possibly be treated by moving the hernia back into the abdomen. You could have your hernia repaired by a simple outpatient procedure. But it the hernia is swollen, infected, and causing a great deal of pain, you may need an extensive hospital stay.
Typically, this is how the vast majority of hernias are performed:
- In an outpatient hospital or clinic setting
- Use of local anesthesia
- Only one small incision needs to be made
- Start to finish takes all of 45 minutes
- Pain medication may not be needed
- Patient is released after a couple of hours
- Usual activities can be resumed in a few days
If your hernia is becoming painful or you are experiencing some other symptom, seek out medical treatment. There are a number of experienced doctors who can treat your hernia. You will be back to your normal daily routine in no time.