Inguinal hernia is a common condition that affects men and women of all ages. It occurs when a portion of the intestine protrudes through a weak spot in the lower abdominal wall, causing a bulge in the groin area. In this article, we will discuss the symptoms of inguinal hernia and the various treatment options available.
Symptoms of Inguinal Hernia
Inguinal hernia is a progressive condition, meaning that the symptoms will gradually worsen over time. The most common symptoms of inguinal hernia include:
A bulge in the groin area: This is the most noticeable symptom of inguinal hernia. The bulge may be small and only noticeable when the person is straining or lifting heavy objects, or it may be larger and more noticeable all the time.
Pain: The bulge may cause pain or discomfort, especially when the person is standing for long periods of time, coughing, or lifting heavy objects.
Weakness or pressure in the groin area: This is often described as a feeling of heaviness in the groin area, which may be accompanied by a sense of weakness.
Nausea: Some people with inguinal hernia may experience nausea or vomiting, especially when the hernia is obstructing the intestine.
Constipation: If the intestine is obstructed, the person may experience constipation, as the stool is unable to pass through the hernia.
Diagnosis of Inguinal Hernia
Inguinal hernia is diagnosed through a physical examination, in which the doctor will look for a bulge in the groin area and feel for a hernia. If the doctor is not able to diagnose the hernia through a physical examination, they may order an imaging test, such as an ultrasound or CT scan, to get a better view of the hernia.
Treatment for Inguinal Hernia
There are two main treatment options for inguinal hernia: surgery and watchful waiting.
Surgery for Inguinal Hernia
Surgery is the most common treatment for inguinal hernia. The goal of surgery is to repair the weakened area of the abdominal wall and prevent the intestine from protruding through it. There are two main types of surgery for inguinal hernia: open repair and laparoscopic repair.
Open repair is the traditional surgery for inguinal hernia. It involves making an incision in the groin area and repairing the weakened area of the abdominal wall. The surgeon will use a piece of mesh to reinforce the weakened area and prevent the intestine from protruding through it. This type of surgery is usually performed under general anesthesia and takes about one to two hours.
Laparoscopic repair is a newer surgical technique that uses small incisions and a camera to repair the hernia. This type of surgery is less invasive than open repair and is often performed as an outpatient procedure. The surgeon will make several small incisions in the abdominal wall and insert a camera and instruments to repair the hernia. This type of surgery is usually performed under general anesthesia and takes about one to two hours.
Watchful waiting is a non-surgical approach to inguinal hernia. This means that the person will be monitored for changes in the hernia but will not undergo surgery unless the hernia becomes symptomatic or starts to obstruct the intestine. Watchful waiting is often recommended for people who are not experiencing any symptoms or discomfort from the hernia.