What is a hernia?
A hernia is the result of an internal organ pushing through the tissue or muscle that holds it in position. Most common in your abdomen, hernias can develop in your groin, belly button, or upper thigh. There are two main types of hernias:
The most common type of hernia is inguinal. These occur when your intestines push through a tear in your lower abdominal wall, usually in the inguinal canal.
For men, the inguinal canal is also the conduit that the spermatic cord, which holds up the testicles, passes through. In women, the inguinal canal houses the ligament that holds the uterus in position.
A hiatal hernia involves the protrusion of your stomach through your diaphragm and into your chest cavity. Hiatal hernias are most common in people over 50. Children with congenital disabilities may also be at greater risk for developing a hiatal hernia.
The chief symptom of a hiatal hernia is gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), a condition where the contents of your stomach back up into your esophagus, leaving you with a persistent burning sensation in your throat.
What causes hernias?
A hernia can be the result of weak muscles or physical strain. You can develop a hernia quickly when lifting a heavy object or have a hernia that develops gradually over time. You can also develop a hernia over time if you frequently struggle with constipation, causing you to strain with each bowel movement.
What are the symptoms of a hernia?
The most noticeable symptom of a hernia is a bulge in the area where the organ pushes through the muscle. Bulges are most visible when you bend down or cough, or while you’re standing.
Other potential symptoms of a hernia include:
- Pain in the affected area
- Weakness or pressure in the abdomen
- Burning or aching sensations near the bulge
In the case of a hiatal hernia, you may have persistent acid reflux, pain in your chest, and difficulty swallowing.
Typically, hernias aren’t a life-threatening condition; however, they do require treatment to prevent additional medical complications.
How can weight loss surgery prevent hernias?
Obesity is a common cause of hernias, and Dr. Fermelia may suggest weight-loss surgery to reduce your hernia risk. Weight loss surgery can significantly reduce the pressure that extra weight places on your internal organs, especially near the abdominal wall.
If you already have a hernia, Dr. Fermelia may recommend weight loss surgery before repairing the hernia. By losing weight before the hernia procedure, you can reduce your risk for complications and experience a quicker recovery.
To find relief from hernia pain, schedule an appointment by calling Heartland Surgical Weight Loss today!