The abdominal wall wraps around the center of the body. It extends from just below the rib cage to the pelvis. The wall keeps the intestines and other organs in the abdominal cavity. When the wall is weakened it can tear. Intestines or other organs can bulge through the opening. This is called an abdominal hernia. There are several types of abdominal hernias, all named for their location:
Most hernias are found because of a lump or bulge that sticks out. Sometimes a congenital hernia will be more obvious while a baby is crying. Often times there are no other symptoms.
Some people feel tenderness or discomfort where the hernia is located.
Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done. The doctor will try to feel the hernia. You may be asked to cough or bend for the doctor to feel the hernia better. You may be referred to a surgeon to talk about removing the hernia.
Most inguinal hernias enlarge over time. Large hernias can put pressure on surrounding tissues. This pressure causes pain.
Incarcerated hernia is the most serious complication of a hernia. It occurs when a loop of intestine becomes trapped in the abdominal wall. This in turn may lead to obstruction of the bowel. Strangulation can also occur if blood flow is slowed. A strangulated hernia is a medical emergency. It requires immediate surgery.
Talk with your doctor about the best plan for you or your child. Hernias can become bigger, infected, or stuck in one spot.
Hernias are repaired with surgery. During the surgeries the bulging intestine is put back into place. The damaged wall is also repaired. In some cases a piece of mesh is inserted to provide extra support.
Your doctor may suggest
. This type of surgery repairs the hernia using a very small incision. The repairs are done using a lighted, thin tube and small surgical instruments.
Congenital hernias cannot be prevented. To help reduce your chance of an acquired or adult abdominal hernia, take the following steps:
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care
provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a
substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER
IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the
advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to
starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a