Types of Hernia: Causes, Treatment, Symptoms and More

types of hernia

Each of our body parts is tied and well-adjusted with muscles and tissues in a way that not one organ shifts or enters into the other area, especially in the case of the abdomen. However, if it shifts, it could cause significant issues and require surgical treatment to place the organ back in its position and tie it around the muscles. Now, this one unusual condition is known as hernia, and there are several types of Hernia you need to be familiar with. 

Experts have mentioned that managing hernia has become much easier due to advancements in treatment options. However, the problem still prevails. It is a prerequisite to carefully understand the different types of Hernia and be wary about the seriousness of the condition. 

What is Hernia?

types of hernia

Source: webmd.com

If any part of your body has a weak muscle or tissue, the organ inside could quickly push through the muscles, and it gives an appearance of a bulge outside. It usually happens when the connective tissue or commonly known as Fascia, isn’t strong enough to withhold the organ at the place. Hence the bulge is known as Hernia.

You should know that the end number of men and women who are obese could experience Hernia occurring on their inner or outer groin, or most commonly between the chest and hip area since it has tissues binding the organs from entering the site around the chest. 

If you are suffering from Hernia in its initial stages, you must not ignore it. The progression of the condition could only make things worse for you. To get a clear insight into the disease, let’s first understand the types of Hernia to realize the potential risks involved. 

The Different Types of Hernia & It’s Symptoms

types of hernia

Source: clevelandclinic.org

Men and women might experience the disease differently depending on their lifestyle, their health condition, and their anatomy. Instead of classifying the types of hernia in men and types of hernia in women, it is better to analyze them collectively and know which type is more common and recurrent in a particular age group or gender. 

Inguinal Hernia

Just like other parts of the body, our intestines also have tissues. When these tissues push through a soft spot in the lower abdominal area, they often shift to the Inguinal canal. That’s why it is known as Inguinal Hernia. It is crucial to note that the Inguinal Canal is a part of the groin, especially in men. It is the same area through which the spermatic cord passes from the abdomen to the scrotum. Further, the cord reaches the testicles and attaches itself to them.  

On the other hand, the Inguinal cord plays the role of a round ligament, helping to keep the Uterus intact in its position in women. One could say that the cord plays a role in supporting the reproductive organs of both genders. 

Amongst the several other types of Hernia, it is the most commonly occurring one in men because as soon as a male child is born, their testicles recline themselves from the Inguinal cord, and the cord would soon close behind it. In cases where the cord does not close appropriately, it would lead to an area with weak tissues. Hence, the higher chances of occurrence of Inguinal Hernia. 

While classifying it under the types of Hernia in Men, one should also know the complexities involved, such as the inability to lift something heavy, a painful bulge-like appearance, and the sudden feeling of pain while coughing. The issue could certainly turn life-threatening if not treated properly. 

Symptoms

  • A feeling of burning sensation at the site of the bulge
  • The visibility of the lump near the Pubic Bone when an Individual coughs or performs a task that puts pressure in the area.
  • The Groin feels weaker and has a significant loss of strength in the area.
  • As the tissues bulge out, it makes the groin feel heavier.
  • As the pushing intestine reclines in the scrotum, the testicles feel more painful and swollen.
  • The discoloration of the bulge in extreme conditions from red to purple.
  • Discomfort during bowel movement and passing of gas.
  • The feeling of Feverish and Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • The pain could quickly increase at any given point. 

Femoral Hernia

Femoral and Inguinal are the two types of Hernia that are somewhat similar to each other. However, their difference lies in the probability of occurrence. While Inguinal Hernia could be a standard hernia type in men, Femoral only occurs in about 3% of women. 

The Femoral Canal is located near the Inguinal Canal and consists of small arteries and veins. When one tries to overburden themselves on a specific body part, the Intra-abdominal tissues try to push against a weak area in the Femoral canal. Hence, it could lead to Femoral Hernia. Similar to Inguinal Hernia, Femoral Hernia also appears in the groin or thighs, but more prominently in women. 

Femoral Hernia is also known as Femorocele and does not usually bother unless it causes an obstacle in the blood flow towards the intestines. In such a case, immediate surgery is recommended by the doctor. 

Symptoms

  • Obstruction of the Intestines and nearly killing the bowel tissue, which turns into a life and death situation.
  • Extreme pain in the stomach (At times due to obstruction of blood flow to Intestines).
  • Since it is somewhat similar to inguinal Hernia, Femorocele could also make one feel heavy and painful in the Groin area.
  • The feeling of Nausea and Vomiting

Umbilical Hernia

There are types of Hernia that occur due to overburdening a particular part of the body, and then there is Umbilical Hernia which is witnessed in small children. The intestines bulge out through the abdominal wall, very much near to the belly button. As soon as a child grows and turns five years old, their muscles would also develop more robustness, and the hernia would automatically recover itself. If it does not, surgery could be done to fix it.

Umbilical Hernia isn’t only observant in infants or children, but in adults too who are obese and, as a result, develop belly fat. All of this fat protrudes out through the abdominal wall near the navel. Pregnant women can also experience Umbilical Hernia. Other diseases like frequently experiencing constipation or complexity while urinating due to a large prostate gland could also cause Umbilical Hernia

Like Femoral Hernia, Umbilical Hernia also needs urgent care and surgical treatment so that the fat does not get trapped inside and cuts the blood supply to the intestine (Strangulated Hernia). It could have the risk of the bulge appearing discolored or swollen to the extent that it causes pain. Hence, the need for medical care becomes urgent. 

Symptoms

  • Not painful enough, however, causing the child to vomit.
  • Modest to Extreme swelling on the bulge
  • Discoloration of the bulge if the condition turns critical, especially in adults.
  • Feeling of tenderness while trying to push the bulge back inside the stomach.

Hiatal Hernia

The diaphragm is a crucial sheet of muscle in our body just between our chest and the stomach. Since they both are very close to each other, it becomes essential to keep them separated, and it is possible with the help of a Diaphragm. It helps both the chest and the stomach to be intact in their place, not allowing anyone to shift either way. 

However, people who suffer from Hiatal Hernia have their stomach tissue protruding through the Diaphragm. Hence, the stomach would bulge through this sheet of muscle. Out of the different types of Hernia, this one does not visibly show the bulge, and neither would a person suffering from the disease feel any lump through their chest.  People most commonly experience it over the age of 50 years. 

The most prominent symptom of the condition is heartburn and suffering from GERD (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease. Experts have mentioned that if the Hernia type does not bother you with any sign like GERD, you could ignore it. However, if the heartburn symptom significantly increases, try seeing a doctor as fast as possible to change your eating and living pattern. 

Symptoms

  • No experiencing of symptoms if the Hiatal Hernia is little to insignificant
  • In the case of a significant Hiatal hernia, the most prevalent symptom is Heartburn which turns extreme when lying down. 
  • Feeling of sharp pain in the Upper Abdominal Area.
  • Frequent Hiccups
  • Having a hard time while swallowing
  • Extreme coughing causes pain in the bulge.

Incisional Hernia

Incisional Hernia is a result of surgery that could usually occur in your belly. As Healthline defines it in their types of Hernia article, It could be a Ventricle hernia occurring at a site of incision, which could have been done a few days, months, or maybe years ago. They mention that in a Ventricle Hernia, the bulge would just disappear when one lies down. 

Incisional Hernia majorly occurs at a vertical (Cutting in a position from up to down) incision site. Obese people and Pregnant women could also witness this hernia type, and people on high steroid medication could develop some complexities related to the condition. 

Experts have mentioned that people who experienced a lung disease after their surgery or suffered from an infectious wound at the incisional site have a higher chance of developing Incisional Hernia. The problem could certainly be more extensive than other types of Hernia and be more painful. Hence, it requires immediate medical assistance. 

Symptoms

  • Sudden Feeling or experiencing Fever
  • The feeling of an Escalating pressure on the Bulged tissue, which appears swollen too.
  • A very foul smell through the bulge or oozing of drainage from the area.
  • Restricted blood circulation to the intestine causes disruption and complexity in bowel movement.
  • The infection causes redness at the incisional site.
  • Any internal part is pushing through the incisional cut.
  • Frequent digestive issues.
  • Experiencing Jaundice

Types of Hernia Surgery

types of hernia

Source: healthline.com

Usually, in most types of Hernia, surgical treatment is the ultimate solution after getting a proper diagnosis from the specialist. The doctor would run some imaging tests to get a clear view of the bulge and how complex the situation is inside the body. They would run tests like abdominal Ultrasound, Abdominal CT Scan, or an MRI. 

For a hernia type like Hiatal, they would closely look at the digestive tract closely and conduct an Endoscopy for a better view inside the intestine and the system. Post the diagnosis, here are the three surgical options that your doctor would recommend for treating your hernia

Open Hernia Surgery

It is a surgical procedure where the surgeon makes an incisional cut at the appropriate site of the bulge. For example, if the Hernia is in the groin area or near the belly button, the doctor would cut in the area and push the bulge back in the abdomen at whichever place it protruded through the first place. Even before cutting, the hernia sac would be identified. 

After the hernia is put back inside, the abdomen walls are strengthened with stitches or synthetic mesh to hold the inner parts appropriately. Post the surgery, a person could go home and would begin recovering in a few days. However, lifting heavy weights is not recommended for at least six weeks. 

Also Read: Some Of The Main Causes Of Stomach Pain

Laparoscopic Hernia Surgery

Another way to treat types of Hernia is performing laparoscopic surgery. A small incision is make at the hernia site, such as the belly button through which a telescope-like plastic tube is insert. The laparoscopy also contains a small camera-like structure which helps give an inside view of the area on the big screen inside the surgical room. The procedure is done under general anesthesia.

The abdominal area is inflate with carbon dioxide, which is harmless and helps the doctor find enough space to view the inside of the body. The abdomen’s inner lining is cut to place a synthetic mesh to strengthen the weak walls. Post the entire process, the incisional cut is sewed, and the stitches are hardly visible. 

Laparoscopic surgeries are prefer due to their shorter recovery time and a less time-consuming process than open surgery. 

Robotic Hernia Surgery

Everything in Robotic Hernia Surgery is similar to Laparoscopic surgery. However, the only difference is that instead of manually holding the surgical instruments. The surgeon uses a robotic console sitting on their seat to control the surgical equipment. The placing of mesh inside the abdomen wall until stitching the incision becomes easy due to the automated console. Even the images of the affected area are much more transparent and three-dimensional. The patient does not feel much pain due to general anesthesia. 

Bottom Line!

The different types of Hernia are necessary to be treated at the earliest. In the case of a Hiatal Hernia. Your doctor would recommend heartburn medications to you to recover the symptoms of GERD. But in case of extreme complications, you must meet with your doctor at the earliest.

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