If you’ve been told you have an inguinal hernia, here is what you need to know. The first thing you should know is that it is a common condition, and secondly, it won’t go away on its own.
What Is An Inguinal Hernia?
An inguinal hernia happens in the abdomen near the groin area. They develop when fatty tissue from the intestines or another organ pushes through a weakened wall and protrudes into another area like the inguinal canal. It is uncomfortable, the lump is noticeable, and it causes pain when doing certain activities.
Causes Of An Inguinal Hernia
There are several circumstances that encourage the development of inguinal hernias.
They include some of the following:
- Congenital weakness in the abdominal wall, which could have occurred at birth if the abdominal lining did not close properly
- Doing strenuous activities and exercises
- Lifting excessively heavy objects
- Chronic coughing
- Being pregnant
- Getting older
Men over age 40 are 8 times more at risk to develop inguinal hernias than women. Chronic constipation that causes straining, obesity, and having a family history of hernias are additional risk factors.
What To Do About An Inguinal Hernia
Some inguinal hernias will not grow very fast and therefore are not too problematic. Agave Surgical Specialists may decide to take a “watch and wait” approach. If they do begin to grow, you will notice them more frequently and they can become quite painful and interfere with your everyday activities.
Sometimes you can actually push a hernia back into place if you lie down, but it is only a short-term solution. When you are unable to push a hernia back into place, this is known as an incarcerated hernia. It isn’t necessarily dangerous but should be a red flag.
If a hernia becomes strangulated, and you can’t move it back into place, blood flow can be cut off and it becomes a life-threatening situation. It can cause infection, gangrene, and necrosis. Do not wait to seek medical care!
If you develop a fever, experience increasing pain, become nauseous or vomit, and the hernia changes to a darker color, go to an emergency room.
You can avoid all these serious issues if you follow the recommendation of Agave Surgical Specialists. Hernia surgery is a safe procedure with few if any, complications.