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Types of Hernia Explained

Aug 17, 2007
So what is hernia and what are its symptoms? Someone suffering from hernia has an opening or weakness in the muscular structure of the abdominal wall. This condition causes a bulging of the wall of the abdomen. The bulge or lump will be more noticeable when the abdominal muscles are tightened, thereby increasing the pressure inside abdomen of the hernia patient.

There are several activities that can worsen a hernia condition such as lifting heavy weights and objects, coughing, or even straining during movement of bowels.

A hernia condition is like a barrel with a hole in its side and a balloon that is blown up inside the barrel with part of the balloon straining to push through the hole with part of it bulging out of the hole. The barrel is the abdominal wall and the balloon is the intestine.

Developing a hernia may result in serious medical complications when organ tissues or intestines are trapped. In medical term, this complication is called incarceration. The human organ tissues such as the intestine may have their blood supply cut off, leading to severe damage or even death of the tissue. When incarceration happens, a hernia surgery is required to repair the damage. If immediate surgery is not undertaken to correct incarceration, it could be potentially fatal.

Hernia victims will usually feel pain or dull discomfort in the lower abdomen. Sometimes localized swelling will appear on the abdomen or in the groin area.

The most common area for hernias to occur is in the groin or inguinal area. This condition is called inguinal hernia. This is because there is a natural anatomical weakness in this abdominal area. Also, the upright position of the human posture places a greater force at the bottom of the abdomen causing increasing the stress on these weaker muscles of the abdominal wall.

These pressures, over time break down the supporting tissues thereby enlarging any pre-existing hole or resulting in a new hole on the abdominal wall. Several different types of hernias may occur or even coexist. These include indirect, direct, and femoral hernias, which are defined by the location of the opening hole of the hernia from the abdomen to the groin.

Another type of hernia, called the ventral hernia, occurs in the mid section of the abdomen, usually just above the navel. Hernias can also occur within the navel too.

Other types of hernia such as Epigastria, incision, lumbar, internal, umbilical and Spigellian all occur at different areas of the abdomen that are prone to muscular structural weaknesses. Internal hernias can be difficult to detect and is usually diagnosed only when incarceration sets in. This is because there are usually no external evidence of a lump or bulge on the abdominal wall. Immediate surgery must be performed or else serious medical complications will arise.
About the Author
Chris Chew was a former hernia patient. More surgery articles at his blogs Laser eye surgeries and Liver transplant
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