Hernia Surgery: Know The Facts

There are approximately 600,000 hernia repair operations performed yearly in the United States. Hernias can happen to both men and women, and some people are born with hernias. Others have hernias develop over time. Board certified surgeon Dr. Rajesh Padmanabhan shares that if you have a hernia, surgery is necessary, saying, “A hernia does not get better over time, or go away by itself. There are no exercises or physical therapy regimens that can make a hernia disappear.”

What is a Hernia?

A hernia is a gap in the strong tissue that holds your muscles in place. Hernias occur when the inside layers of the abdominal muscle have weakened resulting in a bulge or tear. If you can imagine an inner tube pushing through a damaged tire, the inner lining of the abdomen pushes through the weakened area of the abdominal wall to form a small balloon-like sac. This gap allows abdominal tissue or a loop of intestine to push into the sac. Hernias can cause severe pain or other potentially serious problems that could require emergency surgery.

How Do I know If I Have a Hernia?

Hernias are usually found in the groin area, belly button, or the site of a previous operation. If you have a hernia, it is usually easy to recognize by the bulge under the skin. Pain, when coughing, or lifting heavy objects, or strain during bowel movements or urination, are all signs that may point to a hernia.

The pain you feel may be sharp and or a dull ache that worsens. Severe pain and redness are signs a hernia is entrapped. If this condition presents itself, or the bulge that used to come and go is now stuck out, then immediately contact your surgeon.

What Causes a Hernia?

Hernias can develop in weakened areas of the abdominal muscle or other areas due to heavy strain on the abdominal wall, aging, injury, an old incision or a weakness present from birth. Men or women can develop hernias. Most hernias in children are congenital, but hernias can develop at any age. In adults, a natural weakness or strain from heavy lifting, persistent coughing, and difficulty with bowel movements or urination can cause the abdominal wall to weaken and separate.

Today’s hernia repair options include new techniques and materials that can make surgery less invasive, recovery faster and recurrence less likely. And the smaller your hernia (meaning, the earlier you fix it), the more options you’re likely to have.

Dr. Rajesh S Padmanabhan is board certified by the American Board of Surgery and a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons. Dr. Padmanabhan has practiced in Dallas Fort Worth and Arlington. He is named Top10MD – 1-in- 3 doctors succeed with this recognition in the United States. To schedule a consultation with Dr. Padmanabhan link to his profile or call his office today, 817-466- 7400.