Have you wondered what a hernia really is? Do you have a hernia that is small, is not necessarily bothering you, and you just haven’t gotten around to having a surgeon take a look?
What Is A Hernia
A hernia is actually a hole (or a "defect") within the fascia which lines our muscles. Our abdominal muscles are arranged in a sheet like formation, stacked in layers. There are generally three layers of abdominal muscles in most locations of our abdomen. An unusual sac forms at the defect by pressure pushing from within your abdominal cavity's inside lining, known as the peritoneum.
This sac pushes through the weak area of the hernia defect in the layer of your belly wall that is surrounded by muscle.
This sac or bulge is often noticed within the groin on the left or right side or very commonly around the belly button area. The belly button, or umbilicus, is a natural weak spot within all of us as this is where the umbilical cord entered our body before we were born.
Who Can Get A Hernia
Many people suffer from a hernia, and they may occur for any number of reasons and are more common in those who have family members that had a hernia, people who smoke cigarettes, and especially if you have had a hernia elsewhere.
How A Hernia Can Happen
Activities that tend to expose hernias include heavy lifting, straining on the toilet or any type of activity that will raise your belly's pressure.
If you notice such a bulge, it is important to have it checked out as soon as possible, even if the bulge does not hurt.
Hernia Treatment (Click Here to Read More)
Often, many people who live with a hernia may ask whether or not they need to have surgery for it.
Surgery is almost always the recommended route, and many professionals believe that you should never delay hernia surgery. Even if you are not noticing any pain or unusual problems with it, the small hernia may become larger. If you are physically active and frequently move about, the hernia will grow larger even faster, resulting in a more complicated repair procedure.
Small hernias are easier to repair than large ones and the risk of recurrence (and having to have yet another surgery) increases as the hernia size increases.
Often, surgeons need to perform more difficult tasks with the hernia when it becomes larger, so nipping the hernia in the bud when it is still small can be one of the best ways for you to return to a normal life again.
Treating A Hernia
If you are currently living with a hernia and hope to keep it small until the surgery, it is important to avoid a number of things that may enlarge it. Avoid environments that make you cough and try to avoid those activities that increase the pressure within your abdomen such as pushing, pulling, or lifting heavy objects.
Obviously, sit ups or crunches dramatically increase intra-abdominal pressure. But, even jumping or walking up stairs briskly are activities that also have been proven to increase intra-abdominal pressure.
Laughing and especially sneezing also increase the pressure and any of these may cause the hernia to grow larger.
In some cases, if you wait too late to get surgery, the sac containing the intestine may become stuck (or incarcerated) resulting in strangulation of the blood supply to that part of the bowel which may cause that part of the intestine to die.
Those experiencing any signs of a hernia should schedule for surgery consultation soon to avoid complications and future problems with your gastrointestinal system.