June is National Hernia Awareness Month to raise public awareness about hernias and its treatment.
Did you know over 1 million hernia operations are performed each year in the U.S.?😲
Despite this large number, millions more are affected and only a small fraction seek any form of treatment.
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What is a hernia?
A hernia is a weakness or tear most commonly on the abdominal wall which allows abdominal organs to protrudes through. The most common type of hernia is the Inguinal hernia.
Who is at risk?
The common theme among patient’s who have hernias are people who strain and use their core – causes increase pressure within the abdomen. Those at risk of developing a hernia are people who often lift heavy objects or perform activities with significant straining (chronic constipation, chronic cough, weight lifters). Also pregnant and after pregnancy patient’s commonly develop “belly-button”/umbilical hernias due to the abdominal muscle stretching and increase pressure within the abdomen.
What are the signs and symptoms of a hernia?
Usually hernias are visually obvious as a bulge or a protrusion on the abdomen. This is commonly associated with discomfort, soreness or pain when moving or lifting. If such signs and symptoms are affecting you, there is a strong likelihood you have a hernia.
Prompt evaluation and identifying hernias early can prevent health threatening problems which may require emergency surgery. Hernias do not improve or resolve untreated. In fact they enlarge and worsen over time which makes repair much more difficult and risky.
How are Hernia’s treated?
Patients should be evaluated by a surgeon if a hernia is suspected, especially if there is pain or discomfort. Surgical treatment is almost always the best treatment option. With new advancements in surgery, such as laparoscopic and robotic surgery, hernia repairs are commonly done as a same day surgery through small incisions.