What Are the Different Types of Hernias?

hernias New York, NY

If you have a hernia, you probably have a lot of questions. A hernia is when your tissue pushes through the wall of the muscle that holds it in. This can create a bulge in the abdomen area as most hernias occur in the belly or groin. You may have a hernia if you can feel a soft lump in your belly, groin or scar tissue from a previous surgery. The lump may disappear when you press on it or when you lie down. It might be painful, especially if you bend over, laugh or lift a heavy object.

Different types of hernias

There are different types of hernias. Each hernia has its own set of risks and symptoms (though some may overlap). Patients should be aware of what type of hernia they are dealing with to better seek medical attention.

Inguinal hernia

The inguinal hernia is tissue pushing through a weak area in the patient’s groin muscle. This type of hernia occurs when an opening in the muscle wall did not properly close after birth. This will leave a weak area in the belly muscle. Then when the tissue does push through this muscle, it can create a bulge.

The most common symptom of this hernia is the characteristic bulge in a patient’s scrotum or groin. It will typically feel like a round bump. Sometimes, it can burn or cause discomfort. Some inguinal hernias form over weeks or months while some can occur suddenly. It can happen from lifting heavy objects, coughing, laughing or straining during a bowel movement.

Femoral hernia

A femoral hernia happens when a patient’s tissue bulges from the lower belly into the thigh, just beneath the crease of the groin. Patients typically feel pain in the groin area. It can be hard to diagnose as doctors may not see it during a routine exam. Doctors may require additional testing.

Umbilical hernia

Though typically occurring in infants, an umbilical hernia can also affect adults. It happens when people have health problems that will put pressure on the belly. Obesity, pregnancy or ascites can cause this. Other health issues, including chronic coughing, constipation and problems urinating can also be the trigger.

Incisional hernia

After having surgery in the abdomen, like an appendectomy, patients may develop an incisional hernia. It will typically occur along a vertical incision. Risk factors for this type of hernia include patients who are overweight, are older, have used steroid medicines, have had lung problems following surgery or have had a wound infection following surgery.

Epigastric hernia

An epigastric hernia happens when a piece of fat pushes through a weakened spot of the belly wall. It typically will occur in the mid-section of the belly between the breastbone and navel. This type of hernia is typically small and patients can have more than one. Patients may suffer no symptoms but can sometimes feel pain in the upper belly.

Hiatal hernia

A hiatal hernia differs from other hernia types. It is due to the stomach bulging up through a patient’s diaphragm and into the chest. Most people do not have symptoms, though some do report heartburn or GERD.

Treating these hernias

If you have a hernia, it is important to see a general or laparoscopic surgeon. You can work together to come up with a treatment plan. Your doctor can make recommendations on lifestyle changes or suggest surgery depending on the symptoms.

Request an appointment here: https://coresurgicalmd.com or call Core Surgical at (212) 548-3267 for an appointment in our New York office.

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