What is a hernia?
A hernia occurs when part of one of your internal organs, often the intestine, pushes through a weak spot in the surrounding tissues. Two of the most common types are hiatal and inguinal hernias.
What is a hiatal hernia?
Your chest is separated from your abdomen by a domed sheet of muscle called the diaphragm. To reach your stomach, your esophagus has to pass through an opening, or hiatus, in the diaphragm.
When the tissue around the hiatus weakens, part of the stomach may protrude through the opening into the chest cavity, giving you a hiatal hernia.
- Fullness or aching below the breastbone
- Difficulty swallowing
- Shortness of breath
- Bloating or hiccups after meals
While some people are born with a hernia, factors such as obesity, trauma, heavy lifting, aging, and even some medications can cause the hiatus to weaken, allowing the stomach to push into the chest.
What is an inguinal hernia?
An inguinal hernia is a protrusion of soft tissue, typically the intestine, through a weak spot in a muscle, usually in the abdominal wall.
Inguinal hernias occur in the groin, either due to wear and tear over time (acquired hernias) or from a weakness in the abdominal wall that’s present at birth (congenital hernias).
The main symptom of an inguinal hernia is a lump in the groin area when standing or straining that disappears when reclining. You’re likely to have pain at the site of the lump, especially when lifting a heavy object You may also have:
- Swelling of the scrotum
- Excruciating abdominal pain
- Nausea and vomiting
- Loss of appetite
- Painful constipation
Although many people “live” with hernias for years before they become problematic, they often get worse over time due to physical stress or aging. Men are 10 times more likely to get an inguinal hernia than women.
Do I need surgery for a hernia?
Surgery for a hiatal hernia is advisable once the symptoms become severe enough to alter your quality of life and they aren’t responding to conservative treatments.
The team at Turnquest Surgical Solutions carries out hernia surgery laparoscopically, which is minimally invasive and takes about 60-90 minutes.
The team can also perform inguinal hernia repair laparoscopically, using a mesh material to strengthen the defect.
Laparoscopy is preferable to open surgery because of its smaller incisions, less trauma to the area, and quicker return to normal activity, but this type of surgery may not always be possible. It takes about 45 minutes to complete the surgery, and most patients are discharged home the same day.
If you have symptoms of a hernia, call Turnquest Surgical Solutions today or book an appointment online.