Inguinal hernia

What is an inguinal hernia?

An inguinal hernia is a medical condition in which a tissue, organ, or part of an organ protrudes through a defect, which may be congenital or acquired, of the connective tissue structures in the inguinal canal .

This is the area that is located in the inguinal region, which is located in the lower abdomen, near the inguinal sheet.

This area is exposed to significant stress and strain because various structures such as muscles, tendons and connective tissues are located there.

What are the symptoms?

  • A lump in the groin or scrotum. A lump may increase gradually over a period of several weeks or months, or it may appear suddenly, after lifting heavy objects, coughing, bending over, or after laughing loudly. Very often the hernia retracts when lying down and the swelling disappears.
  • Pain and discomfort and the groin – the feeling of discomfort increases when bending down or lifting an object. However, in many cases these symptoms may not occur.
  • When the hernia becomes entrapped, sudden very severe pain and systemic symptoms such as nausea and vomiting may occur. This condition requires urgent medical attention, as the abdominal tissues or organs trapped in the hernial sac may begin to necrose.

Other symptoms:

  • Sensation of heaviness and pulling or burning in the discharge area, also in the scrotum or inner thigh. In men, the scrotum can swell, and in women, the swelling is usually on one side in the area of ​​the labia.
  • Discomfort and pain disappear when lying down. This is most likely when the hernia is larger.

In newborns and young children, the swelling is usually noticed when crawling or when they cry. Entrapment of part of the abdominal organs in the hernial sac is more common in infants and young children than in adults. When stuck, babies cry and refuse to eat.

What causes it?

Most cases of inguinal hernia are the result of an opening in the inguinal canal that should have closed before birth but didn’t happened.

Another reason is weakened abdominal muscles due to old age or due to their excessive load.

The risk of effusion increases if you are overweight or lift very heavy objects, have a strong cough or strain in the abdominal area.

This type of hernia is much more common in men than in women. Women are more likely to experience discharge during pregnancy due to the increased pressure in the abdominal cavity.

Hernia treatment

Surgery is used in most cases to treat this condition. Most doctors recommend surgery to prevent entrapment. In infants and young children, due to the increased risk of entrapment, surgery is always performed.

If the hernia does not cause you discomfort, surgery may be necessary. In the period of waiting for a suitable time for the operation, the risk of entrapment does not increase and there is no possibility of other health problems if you postpone the operation for later.

In some cases, when the swelling is small and painless it may never need to be corrected with surgery.

Consult your doctor before wearing belts, as in some cases they can do more harm than good.

In a child with entrapment, the doctor may push the herniated contents back into the abdominal cavity during the examination. But surgery is still urgent because of a future new jam.

If the doctor is unable to return the hernial contents to the abdominal cavity during the examination, the child is given anesthesia with the head lower than the body and ice is applied to the area of ​​the hernial sac .

If the hernial contents do not return on their own, the doctor makes another attempt to push them into the abdominal cavity.

If the hernial contents are “collected”, the operation can be postponed for some time. But if this does not happen, immediate surgical intervention is necessary.

How to prevent an inguinal hernia?

One of the most important aspects of preventing an inguinal hernia is maintaining a healthy weight.

Being overweight comes with numerous health risks, including an increased risk of developing hernias. For this reason, it is important to follow a balanced diet and engage in regular physical activity.

Consulting with a nutritionist can help you lose extra pounds in a healthy way.

After talking about diet, it is important to emphasize that strict and unbalanced diets can be harmful to your health.

They can lead to weakening of the abdominal muscles, as they often do not provide enough vitamins and proteins.

That is why it is good to consult a specialist who can provide you with a personalized diet tailored to your needs.

Smoking is also a factor that can increase the risk of inguinal hernia. Chronic coughing and the tension that comes with this bad habit increases the pressure in the abdominal area and can predispose to a hernia.

Therefore, if you are a smoker, consider quitting the habit, which will not only help prevent hernias, but also improve your overall health.

Also, avoid straining during defecation and urination. Excessive tension and tension of the abdominal muscles can predispose to the appearance of an inguinal hernia.

To prevent this, make sure your digestive regimen includes enough fiber and water to support healthy and regular bowel function.

If you are prone to constipation or other digestive problems, a consultation with a gastroenterologist may be beneficial.

Also, if you have to lift weights or heavy objects, be careful with your technique. Lifting objects the wrong way can put strain on the abdominal muscles and increase the risk of a hernia.

Always use proper technique, focusing your weight on your feet and using a stable back position.

In conclusion, inguinal hernias can be prevented or reduced by maintaining a healthy lifestyle, including maintaining a normal weight, stopping smoking, avoiding straining during bowel movements, and lifting weights with proper technique.

By following these tips and consulting with professionals, you can reduce your risk of developing an inguinal hernia and maintain optimal health.

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