What Can Cause a Hernia?

A hernia occurs when your internal organ or your tissue is poking through a hole or weakened part of your muscle. This usually occurs in your abdomen or groin area. If you have developed a hernia, you may need to seek out a general or laparoscopic surgeon for treatment. Learn about the different types of hernias and the risk factors that can increase your chance of getting one.

Types of hernias and the risk factors for developing one

The people at risk for a hernia are people who are overweight or obese. A hernia can also develop from chronic coughing, constipation and heavy lifting. There are different types of hernias and each one includes its own type of risks and factors.

Inguinal hernia

The inguinal hernia is the most common sort of hernia. This occurs when part of the small intestine or a piece of tissue pokes through a weakened area in the scrotum or groin, creating a bulge.

One of the risk factors for developing this is being male. It is much more likely to occur in a male patient than a female one. Another risk factor is having a problem with the inguinal canal. This is where a boy’s testicles will descend from, either before or after birth. When the patient’s muscles in the two passages do not close correctly, the area is weakened and can lead to a hernia.

The risks for developing this type of hernia also include bending, laughing, coughing, lifting weights or chronic constipation. Symptoms may improve when a patient lies down, as it relieves the pressure from the area.

Incisional hernia

With an incisional hernia, a tissue or organ will protrude from an incision or scar left from a previous abdominal surgery like an appendectomy. Incisional hernias can occur within three and six months after surgery.

Risk factors for this type of hernia include gaining a significant amount of weight, becoming pregnant after abdominal surgery or physical activity such as lifting a heavy object. These hernias may not be visible until pressure is put on the abdomen. They can appear while straining when having a bowel movement, sneezing or coughing.

Umbilical hernia

An umbilical hernia happens when part of the abdominal tissue or the intestines push through or near a patient’s navel. It can occur when the muscles surrounding the belly button do not close properly after birth. This creates a weakness in the abdominal wall.

This type of hernia is most frequently found in children; however, it can occur in adults too. The risk of having an umbilical hernia increases from conditions that put pressure on the abdomen. These include having multiple pregnancies and being obese. Patients who suffer chronic constipation or have a chronic cough can also develop this type of hernia. Patients who have difficulty urinating because of a prostate problem are at higher risk as well.

Be aware of the risks and signs

If you are aware of the risks and signs of a hernia, you may be less likely to develop one because you can take steps to avoid it. This can include losing weight if you are obese and treating underlying conditions that cause constipation or chronic coughing. Sometimes nothing can prevent a hernia, but you should still be wary of the symptoms. Make sure you have regular medical checkups with your doctor.

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