Did you know that June is Hernia Awareness month? There are several types of hernias, such as epigastric, femoral, hiatal, incisional, umbilical, and inguinal. Inguinal hernias are the most common, accounting for 73% of hernias.1 A hernia occurs when an organ pushes through an opening or weakness in the muscle or connective tissue. Most hernias involve the abdominal organs pushing through the abdominal wall, but can also occur in the groin region. Hernias can occur gradually over time or can be a result of an injury or weakness in tissue after surgery. Not all hernias cause symptoms. Different types of hernias can cause different types of symptoms.
Symptoms of a hernia can include:
- Bulge in the affected area(abdomen/groin)
- Groin pain when straining, exercising, coughing, sneezing, etc.
- Difficulty swallowing
- Swelling, itching, burning, or aching in the affected area.
- Chest pain
Risk factors for a hernia include:
- You have a job or play a sport that requires heavy lifting/straining
- You spend hours on your feet
- Chronic constipation
- Chronic coughing/sneezing
- Family history
Some hernias are small and don’t cause symptoms or complications, but most large hernias require surgery to relieve pain and discomfort. If you suspect that you may have a hernia, your doctor will do a thorough evaluation that may include a CT scan or an MRI to confirm a diagnosis. If your hernia is not bothersome, your doctor will most likely just monitor it. Hernias are not typically life-threatening, however, it can become dangerous if they become strangulated or incarcerated. Talk with your doctor today if you have symptoms of a hernia so you can receive an accurate diagnosis.
Dr. Rajeev Vohra is a board-certified Fellow of the American College of Surgeons. He specializes in laparoscopic and bariatric procedures and has successfully performed more than 10,000 surgeries over his 30+ year career. Dr. Vohra has dedicated his career to providing patients in New York with the highest quality and most compassionate care.