Interstitial hernia

By Medically reviewed by Hello Doktor Medical Panel

Know the basics

What is interstitial hernia?

Interstitial hernia is when an organ pushes through the muscle or tissue that holds it in place, usually in the groin region. A interstitial hernia often passes between the layers of anterior abdominal wall. The hernial sac lies between the muscle layers of the abdominal wall.


How common is interstitial hernia?

This condition can occur at any age. It seems to be more common in men than women.

However, it can be managed by reducing your risk factors. Please discuss with your doctor for further information.


What are the symptoms of interstitial hernia?

Some common symptoms of an interstitial hernia include:

  • Pain or discomfort in the affected area (usually the lower abdomen), especially when bending over, coughing, or lifting
  • Weakness, pressure, or a feeling of heaviness in the abdomen
  • A burning, gurgling, or aching sensation at the site of the bulge

In some cases, hernias have no symptoms. You may not know you have a hernia unless it shows up during a routine physical or a medical exam for an unrelated problem.


When should I see my doctor?

Early diagnosis and treatment can stop this condition from worsening and prevent any other medical emergency, so talk to your doctor as soon as possible to prevent this serious condition.

If you have any signs or symptoms listed above or have any questions, please consulting with your doctor. Everyone’s body acts differently. It is always best to discuss with your doctor what is best for your situation.


What causes interstitial hernia?

Interstitial hernias are caused by a combination of muscle weakness and strain. Depending on its cause, an interstitial hernia can develop quickly or over a long period of time.

Common causes of muscle weakness include:

  • Failure of the abdominal wall to close properly in the womb, which is a congenital defect
  • Age
  • Chronic coughing
  • Damage from injury or surgery

Some conditions can make your muscle weaker, thus leading to a hernia:

  • Being pregnant, which puts pressure on your abdomen
  • Being constipated, which causes you to strain when having a bowel movement
  • Heavy weight lifting
  • Fluid in the abdomen, or ascites
  • Suddenly gaining weight
  • Persistent coughing or sneezing

Risk factors

What increases my risk for interstitial hernia?

You may have higher risks for this condition if you are experiencing these following conditions:

  • A personal or family history of interstitial hernias
  • Being overweight or obese
  • A chronic cough
  • Chronic constipation
  • Smoking, which can trigger a chronic cough
  • Conditions such as cystic fibrosis can also indirectly increase your risk of developing a hernia. Cystic fibrosis impairs the function of the lungs, causing a chronic cough.

Diagnosis & treatment

The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. ALWAYS consult with your doctor for more information.


How is interstitial hernia diagnosed?

If your doctor suspects that you may experience this condition, a physical examination will be performed and some tests will be also recommended by your doctor. If you have an interstitial hernia, your doctor may diagnose it with a barium X-ray or endoscopy, or ultrasound. These tests allow your doctor to see the internal location of your stomach:

  • A barium X-ray: It is a series of X-ray pictures of your digestive tract. The pictures are recorded after you’ve finished drinking a liquid solution containing barium, which shows up well on the X-ray images.
  • An endoscopy: It involves threading a small camera attached to a tube down your throat and into your esophagus and stomach.
  • Ultrasound: Your doctor may perform an ultrasound, which uses high-frequency sound waves to create an image of the structures inside the body.


How is interstitial hernia treated?       

There are some treatment options that your doctor may recommend:

  • Lifestyle changes: Dietary changes can often treat the symptoms of an interstitial hernia. Avoid large or heavy meals, don’t lie down or bend over after a meal, and keep your body weight in a healthy range.

If these changes in diet don’t eliminate your discomfort, you may need surgery to correct the hernia.

  • Medication: Your doctor may give you a prescription. You must follow this to treat your hernia.
  • Surgery: If your interstitial hernia is growing larger or causing pain, your doctor may decide that it’s best to operate. Your doctor may repair your hernia by sewing the hole in the abdominal wall closed during surgery. This is most commonly done by patching the hole with surgical mesh.

Hernias can be repaired with either open or laparoscopic surgery. Laparoscopic surgery uses a tiny camera and miniaturized surgical equipment to repair the hernia using only a few small incisions. Laparoscopic surgery is less damaging to the surrounding tissue.

Open surgery requires a longer recovery process. You may be unable to move around normally for up to six weeks. Laparoscopic surgery has a much shorter recovery time. However, the risk of your hernia reoccurring is higher.

Lifestyle changes & home remedies

What are some lifestyle changes or home remedies that can help me manage interstitial hernia?

You can reduce your risk by following these advises:

  • Stop smoking
  • Seeing your doctor when you’re sick to avoid developing a persistent cough
  • Maintaining a healthy body weight
  • Avoiding straining during bowel movements or urination
  • Lifting objects with your knees and not your back
  • Avoiding lifting weights that are too heavy for you

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.

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Review Date: February 10, 2017 | Last Modified: September 12, 2019

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