If you are a football fan, all bets are off when your favorite player suffers a hernia during the pre- or off-season.
However, football players aren’t the only ones who experience hernias; they can occur during pregnancy, after surgery, or simply, develop over time.
While some hernia are extremely painful, others appear unsightly but pose no immediate threat. Nonetheless, it’s best to seek medical attention to repair your hernia. Here’s why.
Organs Under Stress
A hernia is the result of an internal organ or fatty tissue which, while under duress or stress, pushes through a weakened area in the surrounding muscle or connective tissue. The most common hernias occur in the groin, abdominal area, and upper thigh and can occur over time, as is the case with a hiatal hernia; or in an instant, such as during a rigorous workout or while lifting a heavy object. Other causes of hernia include being overweight, smoking, poor diet, surgery and pregnancy.
The most common symptom of a hernia is a bulge in the affected area that also may be accompanied by pain, swelling or tenderness. The pain might worsen while exerting oneself during exercise, laying down or sitting up, coughing or sneezing, straining or crying. While one may not remember the moment their hernia started to present, others may experience an acute injury and notice right away. With regard to a hiatal hernia – symptoms are very similar to heartburn or acid reflux.
Some hernia are not necessarily a cause for immediate concern – doctors may be able to push them back into place. Others can be dangerous and even life-threatening and require immediate medical attention. More concerning hernia include the inguinal hernia – the most common of all hernia – which occurs in the groin area or scrotum and can be very painful, resulting in a need for surgery. Hernia in the abdominal area can trap tissues once they have pushed outward, cutting off blood supply and damaging the tissue – or worse – causing necrosis of the tissue and necessitating emergency surgery to prevent complications.
Most commonly found in women, the femoral hernia occurs when blood supply is cut off. This life-threatening condition appears in the upper thigh and requires immediate medical attention. While not life-threatening, the incisional hernia is the result of an improperly healed surgical incision in the abdominal wall and should be attended to ensure there are no further complications. A hiatal hernia, left unattended, can result in severe complications, one of which can be esophageal cancer.
While some hernia do heal by themselves, most will require treatment. Hernia repair is an outpatient procedure that usually entails making an incision, then tucking the herniated organ or tissue back below the muscle. Oftentimes the area is reinforced by mesh and, depending on where the procedure was performed, donning of a girdle or other supportive apparatus. Of late, many surgeons are performing laparoscopic procedures, during which a small scope is used to see through the affected area. In fact, laparoscopic procedures are favored by doctor and patient alike, as they result in less scarring and faster recovery times.
Full Service Care in Sarasota and Manatee Counties
If you are seeking world-class, full-service medical care in Sarasota or Manatee County, look no further than Intercoastal Medical Group. With more than 95 providers located throughout eight locations, there is a medical specialist nearby who can serve you, whether you have a hernia, chronic pain, or need a reliable primary care physician for everyday bumps and bruises. Learn more about us or request an appointment online today.