Hernia: Types & Causes

stomach pain

Hernia is a medical condition that occurs in a major portion of the human population today. Almost 60% percent of human beings around us have been suffering from the disease in some or other form. When any part of an organ bursts through an opening or a tissue that was meant to keep it in place, the condition is called hernia. This condition is commonly seen in geriatric mass but can occur at any age. Pressure and existence of opening or pressure and weakness of surrounding tissue are the main two factors that cause hernia in humans.

In the human body, different tissues have different functions and in their place, the tissues, muscles and ligaments are required to perform at their optimum. However, occurrence of one or more soft points in the tissue creates a chance for growth of neighboring organs or adipose tissues from near-by organs into the soft recesses. In order to understand this disease completely, one needs to take a look at the main types of hernia seen around us and the main causes of hernia.

Types of Hernia

Umbilical: This type is typically seen in  newborns or ladies who have borne many children. Umbilical hernia is the passage of a part of the small intestine across the abdominal wall near the umbilicus. The condition can be painful and disruptive to the digestive system.

Incisional: This type of hernia is an outcome of a recently completed abdominal surgery in which there has been an incision that has been improperly closed. Tissues that were cut open failed to join back normally and therefore are to be considered weak openings for surrounding fat tissue, which leads to hernia.

Types of Hernia

Inguinal: Also known as groin hernia, this occurs most commonly in men who have a weak opening at the region of closure of the inguinal canal. Organ fat from surrounding areas enters through this opening and causes hernia.

Hiatal: Hiatus is an opening that occurs in the diaphragm of human beings which mainly performs the function of housing the oesophagus. The oesophagus passes through the hiatus and hiatal hernia occurs when the stomach shows upward growth and passes into the hiatus. Sometimes a part of the stomach may lie next to the oesophagus. The dangerous part of this condition is that the stomach may get strangulation with blood supply cut-off to more than half of the stomach.

Femoral: This is a unique condition in which the intestine passes into the canal that is housing the femoral artery. This artery supplies blood to the upper thigh. This type is most commonly seen on obese women and those women who have borne many children.

Main Causes of Hernia

According to a renowned Laparoscopic Surgeon from Fortis Hospital Gurgaon, main causes are

  • Muscle weakness and physical strain
  • Congenital defect
  • Characteristic chronic cough
  • Adverse effect of pregnancy
  • Any damage to the abdomen caused by an injury
  • Severe constipation that causes excessive strain on the abdomen
  • Lifting heavy weights constantly on a regular basis
  • Sudden weight gain
  • Medical and surgical history of the affected person should be reviewed
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