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Hernia Fast Facts

Written by Courteney

Posted on June 14, 2016 at 5:08 pm

A hernia occurs when part of an organ or bowel protrudes through a weakened area of the body that would normally contain the organ or bowel. Hernias can be untroublesome for a period of time but should be tended to as they carry dangerous risks such as strangulation of the bowel. Nearly 10% of the population will experience a hernia at some point during their lives.

Hernia Fast Facts

  • Prescription hernia belts may ease some symptoms, but ultimately surgery is required for hernias so they will not strangulate.
  • Groin hernias are the most common types due to the anatomical weakness of the area and the pressure standing creates in the groin.
  • Some hernias are congenital (present at birth), but most develop later in life.
  • The most common type of abdominal hernia in men is the inguinal hernia. It usually develops when the testicle descends but the opening doesn’t close correctly because of weakened muscles in the area.
  • Femoral hernias which often protrude through the abdominal floor are more common in women because of the tendency toward widened hip structure.
  • Women who have lost a large amount of weight or have been pregnant several times have increased risk of developing a obturator hernia located in the obturator canal (between the abdominal cavity and leg).
  • Some hernias such as epigastric hernias may occur at birth but not become problematic or obvious until adulthood.
  • Many newborns develop slight umbilical hernias which often correct themselves, but some are more significant and require correction.
  • Excessive blunt trauma can cause traumatic diaphragmatic hernias whereby herniated abdominal organs can overflow into the chest cavity.
  • Many hernias are caused by incidents of excess pressure on the abdomen such as weight lifting, chronic coughing, childbirth or pregnancy, trauma or straining to use the washroom.
  • Exercise or exertion can make hernias worse, so it is best to talk to your doctor before starting a new exercise regimen if you have issues with hernias.
  • Symptoms of hernias can include: an evident bulge, burning or pain in the area, and most commonly, a feeling of fullness in the herniated area.
  • A hiatal hernia carries its own extra complications – it can lead to Gastroesophageal Reflux Disorder GERD which causes such unpleasant symptoms as chronic heartburn and bloating.
  • The most dangerous hernia complication is when part of the intestine or other bodily tissue enters the hernia sac, swells and becomes strangled (incarcerated). This can lead to tissues or part of the bowel dying by strangulation, which requires emergency invasive surgery. So it is best to deal with a hernia early before this can happen.
  • There are different types of surgical options available to treat hernias such as laparoscopic or laser procedures.
  • It is difficult to prevent hernias, as some people have genetic vulnerabilities toward hernias, or the hernia develops due to uncontrollable circumstances. However, maintaining a healthy weight, trying not to overexert yourself and avoiding straining while using the washroom can help a person reduce their risks of hernia development.
  • If you feel a bulge on your body it is important to seek medical treatment directly so your doctor can determine if you are suffering from a hernia or another type of mass such as a benign or malignant tumor.
  • If you have any questions about hernia treatment or surgical options feel free to sign up to DocChat today for a video conference with one of our top physicians.


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