There are different types of hernias, but most agree that an inguinal hernia is the most common. It typically occurs when a portion of the body located internally pushes through a weak area, muscle, or tissues around it. Most of the time, a person's muscles are strong enough and wound tightly enough to keep the organs and intestines in place. But if there is a weak spot or area, then it is the likely place where a hernia can occur. An inguinal hernia can appear as a lump or swelling in the groin, or in some cases, it can appear as a swollen scrotum. The swelling can be painful, and there is often a lump which appears once you lift something, but once you lie down, it disappears. If you have an inguinal hernia, it's normal to have questions about it – including what causes it, whether you need surgery, and what to expect. We have come up with some of the most frequently asked questions about inguinal hernia – and the answers are below.
What Causes It?
An inguinal hernia often occurs when a portion of your bowel or fatty tissue begins to poke through and appear at the groin, on top of the thigh. The hernia will push through a weak area in the abdominal wall and into the inguinal canal. This type of hernia is common amongst men, and many believe it is caused by ageing, as the muscles around the abdomen become less tough and strong. An inguinal hernia can suddenly appear after you put pressure on your abdomen, such as being constipated or carrying a heavy object.
When Do You Need Surgery?
Surgery can help an inguinal hernia by pushing the lump back where it came from and strengthening the abdominal wall's weak spot. Surgery is the usual recommendation if your hernia causes you pain and discomfort or its symptoms are persistent or severe. Surgery is also recommended if you develop complications, such as obstruction or strangulation, as confirmed by experts in inguinal hernia surgery in London, like the Londonsurgicalgroup.co.uk.
When the hernia is obstructed, a portion of the bowel is caught in the inguinal canal, which causes the patient to vomit, have nausea and stomach pain, and causes the lump to swell. When it comes to strangulation, it occurs when a portion of the bowel is trapped, and its blood supply is stopped, which then requires immediate surgery to release the tissue and restore its blood supply.
What Can You Expect With Surgery?
Surgery to treat an inguinal hernia comes in two forms – open surgery and laparoscopic surgery (also known as keyhole surgery). Open surgery is where the surgeons make one large incision or cut to push back the lump into the patient's abdomen. L laparoscopic surgery is minimally invasive because it consists of three smaller incisions and uses laparoscopy to repair the inguinal hernia.
Both methods are well-known and come with pluses and minuses, and the kind of surgery prescribed for you will depend on what suits your case and the level of experience your surgeon has.
Fortunately, you can go home on the day itself or the next day, but it is crucial to follow the surgeon's instructions regarding after-care. All in all, expect to make a complete recovery in about a month to six weeks.
Image attributed to Pixabay.com
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