Know the basics
What is inguina hernia?
An inguinal hernia is a condition when a part of your intestine protrude through a hole in the abdominal cavity wall. This hole may be caused from a weak or thin point of the abdominal wall. When the pressure from the intestine push on it, the membrane breaks and your intestine pass through this hole.
An inguinal hernia does not get better or worse when left untreated, but it can lead to life-threatening complications. For this reason, your doctor is likely to recommend surgery to fix an inguinal hernia that’s painful or becoming larger. It can create a bulge on your stomach and cause pain when you cough, bend down or perform heavy activities; or interfere of your digestive system.
How common is inguina hernia?
Inguina hernia is common. It commonly affects more males than females. It can affect patients at any age. It can be managed by reducing your risk factors. Please discuss with your doctor for further information.
Know the symptoms
What are the symptoms of inguina hernia?
Sometimes a inguinal hernia occurs without any symptoms. If the hernia is small, you might not see it visibly from the outside or even feel pain. In some cases, people feel an ache or sense of fullness in the groin. Usually, people can push the hernia back in the abdominal cavity by reducing the pressure on the abdominal wall, such as leaning back or lying down.
Complications happen when the hernia is stuck in the abdominal wall. This will make the blood supply to the hernia being cut off. The tissues in the hernia might die off if there isn’t enough blood to it. Moreover, it will create a blockage in your digestive system. If a hernia becomes stuck, it is an emergency.
There may be some signs or symptoms not listed above. If you have any concerns about a symptom, please consult your doctor.
When should I see my doctor?
If you have any of the following signs or symptoms, please consult with your doctor.
- If you have unusual symptoms or if you notice a bulge in your stomach.
- If you have pain when you bend down, but get better when you rest.
- If you have a temperature higher than 37.8°C.
Everyone’s body acts differently. It is always best to discuss with your doctor what is best for your situation.
Know the causes
What causes inguina hernia?
Inguina hernia is caused by a weakness in the abdominal wall. There might be several reasons why the wall develop a weak spot. In adult, it can be a defect from birth, while in children, it is often because the wall is not fully developed yet. Depending on the cause, the hernia might develop slowly or suddenly.
Know the risk factors
What increases my risk for inguina hernia?
There are many risk factors for inguina hernia, such as:
- Being male.Hernia occurs more often in boys than in girls. It could be related to the testicles in boys dropping from their abdominal cavity to their testicle sack when they were a baby.
- Family history.Your risk of inguinal hernia increases if you have a close relative, such as a parent or sibling, who has the condition.
- Certain medical conditions.Some medical conditions, such as cystic fibrosis and chronic diarrhoea, can lead to chronic coughing, thus increasing the pressure on the abdominal wall.
- Excess weight.Being moderately to severely overweight puts extra pressure on your abdomen.
- This can both weaken the abdominal muscles and cause increased pressure inside your abdomen.
- Certain occupations.Having a job that requires standing for long periods or doing heavy physical labor increases your risk of developing an inguinal hernia.
Understand the diagnosis & treatment
The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. ALWAYS consult with your doctor for more information.
How is inguina hernia diagnosed?
The doctor makes a diagnosis from a medical history and physical examination done in sitting and standing positions and when coughing. If your hernia can be seen from outside, your doctor will feel the bulge and ask if you have any pain when the bulge is touched.
Sometimes, imaging tests will be used to confirm the inguinal hernia and to find out if there is any other complication. Some common imaging tests are:
- Barium x-ray: You will drink a liquid containing barium to help the intestine show up better on the x-ray photo;
- Endoscopy: Your doctor will use a small camera attached on a tube to see the inside of your stomach.
How is inguina hernia treated?
While s small hernia might not cause complication, most doctor recommend to perform a surgery to avoid the condition getting worse. In babies, it is recommended to perform the surgery as soon as possible as it can be painful for the child.
The operation can be done using traditional method – with an incision on your skin – or with laparoscopic. In laparoscopic surgery, the doctor makes a thin cut on the skin. Through the incision, the doctor will put a tube with a camera and light attached to identify the hernia. Other tubes attached with tools will grab the hernia and push it back in the abdominal cavity, as well as sewing shut the hole in the abdominal wall.
Lifestyle changes & home remedies
What are some lifestyle changes or home remedies that can help me manage inguina hernia?
The following lifestyles and home remedies might help you cope with inguina hernia:
- Use pain medicine after surgery as directed by your doctor.
- Walk around and even climb stairs if your doctor approves, but don’t overdo it.
- Be careful that you don’t get constipated. Eat enough high-fiber foods and drink eight glasses of liquids daily. You may need a mild laxative (such as milk of magnesia).
- Have sex when your doctor says you can.
- Keep your weight down.
- Follow safety instructions when you do heavy lifting. See your doctor if you have a long-lasting cough or allergies.
If you have any questions, please consult with your doctor to better understand the best solution for you.
Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
Ferri, Fred. Ferri’s Netter Patient Advisor. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders/Elsevier, 2012. Print edition. Page 969.
Porter, R. S., Kaplan, J. L., Homeier, B. P., & Albert, R. K. (2009). The Merck manual home health handbook. Whitehouse Station, NJ, Merck Research Laboratories. Print edition. Page 1471.
Inguinal hernias. http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/inguinal-hernia/basics/definition/con-20021456. Accessed July 9, 2016.
Hernias. http://kidshealth.org/teen/diseases_conditions/digestive/hernias.html. Accessed July 9, 2016.
Review Date: May 30, 2016 | Last Modified: January 4, 2017