Hernia: A defect in the abdominal wall that will not resolve without surgery.
If left untreated, it could become life-threatening.
A hernia, whether it be inguinal, umbilical or incisional, is a defect in the abdominal wall that allows for the protrusion of fatty tissue or intestines through the defect. This could be problematic and in some cases life threatening. There are various causes of abdominal hernias such as stress from lifting, previous surgical sites, and genetic malformations. Both males and females of all ages are capable of having hernias.
Hernias can present with pain on exertion, burning about the hernia site, bowel obstructions, and even ischemic bowel – a bowel with compromised blood flow which could lead to tissue death – however, the hallmark presentation is typically pain at or around the hernia site.
If you have or suspect that you have a hernia, it may be in your best interest to have the condition evaluated to determine the necessity or urgency of surgical repair. There are various options to surgically repair a hernia, consisting of open repair, laparoscopic repair and also robotic laparoscopic repair. These repairs typically use a mesh implant to strengthen the hernia repair and are very well tolerated.
Seek out medical evaluation with your primary care physician if you or a loved one have or are concerned you may have a hernia, and they will guide you to more definitive treatment if needed.