India’s Leading Laparoscopy Surgeon and an Eminent Hernia Repair Surgeon Dr Amita Jain shares the basics of the Hernia Problem
What is Hernia?
A hernia happens when an internal organ or some other body part protrudes through the wall of muscle or tissue that usually, contains it. Most hernias happen inside the abdominal cavity, between the chest and the hips.
Common forms of Hernia
- Inguinal Hernia
- Femoral Hernia
- Umbilical Hernia
- Hiatal Hernia
- Incisional or Ventral Hernia
- Epigastric Hernia
- Spigelian Hernia
- Diaphragmatic Hernia
How Common are Hernias?
Among all hernia that happens:
- 75-80% are inguinal or femoral.
- 2% are incisional or ventral.
- Approximately 3-10% are umbilical, impacting 10 to 20% of newborns; most nearest by themselves by 5 years of age.
- 1-3% are other types.
Causes of Hernia
Inguinal and femoral hernias are because of weakened muscles that might have been present since birth or are linked with aging and repeated strains on the abdominal and groin areas. Such strain could come due to physical exertion, obesity, pregnancy, frequent coughing, or straining on the toilet due to constipation.
Adults could get an umbilical hernia by exerting the abdominal part, being overweight, or having a long-lasting heavy cough, and post-giving birth. The reason for Hiatal hernias is not fully understood, but a weakening of your diaphragm because of age or pressure on the abdomen may play a part.
Symptoms of Hernia
Some of the prominent symptoms could include:
- Swelling or bulge around your groin or scrotum (the pouch that holds the testicles).
- Enhanced pain at the place of the bulge.
- Pain while lifting.
- Increase in the bulge size over time.
- A dull aching sensation.
- A sense of being feeling full or signs related to bowel obstruction.
For Hiatal hernias, there are no visible bulges on the external part of the body.
How to Diagnose
- It is normally possible to see or feel a bulge in the area.
- For a male’s typical physical check-up for an inguinal hernia, the physician feels the part around the testicles, and groin while the patient is asked to cough.
- Certain cases need CT scans to properly diagnose the condition.
What kind of Doctor one must-see for a hernia?
- Primarily you should visit a general physician.
- If surgery is needed, you will be referred to a General or Laparoscopic Surgeon.
How Hernia is Treated?
Usually, hernias do not heal or get better on their own. Surgery is perhaps the only alternative. Types of surgeries mainly performed are:
- Open surgery, in which one cut is made over the body at the position of the hernia. The protruding tissue is placed back in correct area and the weakened muscle wall is stitched back together. Occasionally, a sort of mesh is implanted inside the area to lend extra support.
- Laparoscopic surgery involves the same type of repairs. However, in place of a cut to the exterior of the abdomen or groin, tiny incisions are done to let for the insertion of surgical tools to finish the procedure.
- Robotic hernia repair, just like laparoscopic surgery, uses a laparoscope and is done with minor incisions. Through, robotic surgery, the surgeon uses a console in the operation theatre and manages the surgical tools from the console. While robotic surgery could be used for some minor hernias or weak parts, it would now also be used to reconstruct the abdominal wall.
What if a hernia is not treated?
Complications of an untreated inguinal or femoral hernia may include:
- Obstruction (incarceration): Area of your intestine becomes stuck inside the inguinal canal, creating nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, and a painful lump around the groin.
- Strangulation: Certain part of your intestine is trapped in a manner that stops its blood supply. In those cases, emergency surgery (within hours of happening) is required to prevent tissue death.
How hernia be prevented?
- Maintain suitable body weight by eating a healthy diet and exercising.
- Eat adequate fruits, vegetables, and whole grains to prevent constipation.
- Use proper form while lifting weights or heavy things. Avoid lifting any object that is beyond your ability.
- Consult your physician while you are ill with persistent coughs or sneezing.
- Do not smoke, as the habit could lead to coughing that causes a hernia.
Things to follow post-surgery
Post-surgery, you will be given instructions. These include:
- what diet to follow
- how to care for the incision site
- how to take care to avoid physical strain.
Hernias might recur irrespective of the repair operations. This is at times caused by inherent tissue weakness or protracted healing. Smoking and obesity are also the main risk factors for hernia recurrence.
Dr Amita Jain holds 27 plus years of rich experience in Trauma and General Laparoscopic Surgeries (including Gallbladder stone removal, appendix removal, hernia repair surgery, piles and fissure surgeries). She was a Professor Surgery of at the Army College of Medical Sciences and Base Hospital Delhi Cantt. In 1994 she was commissioned as Surgeon under the United Nations Mission in Congo. Currently, she is the General and Laparoscopic Surgeon at Bansal Hospital, New Delhi.
Dr Amita Jain is a surgeon with highest degree of professional competence, precision and surgical craftsmanship. Performed all complicated general surgery procedures with in depth knowledge of invasive and few minimal invasive and onco surgical techniques. Underwent special training in trauma, executed various trauma-related complex life-saving neurosurgical procedures, reconstructed injured mangled limbs and performed vascular and reconstructive procedures with critical care.
Dr Amita Jain holds 28 plus years of rich experience in Trauma and General Laparoscopic Surgeries (including Gallbladder stone removal, appendix removal, hernia repair surgery, piles and fissure surgeries). She was the Professor Surgery of at the Army College of Medical Sciences and Base Hospital Delhi Cantt. In 1994 she was commissioned as Surgeon under the United Nations Mission in Congo. From 2020 to 2022, she worked with Bansals Hospital. Currently, Dr Amita Jain is the Senior Consultant, (Speciality: General and Laparoscopic Surgeon) at Artemis Lite Hospital, New Delhi