If you are experiencing constant aching or notice a bulge in your abdomen or groin, you may have a hernia. Besides causing significant discomfort, hernias can lead to dangerous complications in a small number of patients. Luckily, almost all hernias can be surgically repaired. Dr. Ebanks is experienced in surgical hernia repair and has treated many Cayman Islands patients diagnosed with this condition.
What Is a Hernia?
A hernia can be described as a weakness in the muscular wall of the abdomen or groin. In some cases, an actual hole can be detected in the wall through physical examination or ultrasound.
When the hole or weakness develops, abdominal fat and other contents can protrude through it and create a bulge in that area. This can result in pressure that increases with physical exertion, like lifting heavy objects or coughing.
Other symptoms of a hernia are:
- Tender bulging in the abdomen, groin or scrotum
- A heavy feeling in the abdomen
- Dull pain with lifting and straining
- The bulge tends to retract when lying down
- Nausea and/or constipation
Symptoms vary greatly depending on the type of hernia involved, with most occurring in the groin, abdomen or thigh.
Examples of hernias include the following:
This type occurs when fatty tissue or the intestines push through the groin. The inguinal region is also known as the groin and is most prone to hernias.
A hernia that appears in the upper part of your thigh is called a femoral hernia. This is a fairly uncommon type of hernia and usually affects women.
This hernia arises in a weak part of the abdominal wall near the belly button. These hernias are commonly seen in infants and older adults.
Having abdominal surgery puts you at risk of incisional hernia, which is a hernia that arises from scar tissue in the abdomen. Up to 30 percent of those who have undergone abdominal surgery develop this type of hernia.
A common type of hernia occurring between the breastbone and the belly button. It rarely causes symptoms and is usually present at birth
A hiatal hernia occurs at a weak point in the diaphragm, which is a muscle that separates the lungs from the abdominal organs. It usually presents as heartburn and can range in severity.
Hernias can become quite uncomfortable, and they can also develop potentially serious complications, which is why surgical repair of a hernia is almost always recommended. If you are experiencing symptoms related to your hernia, make an appointment with Dr. Ebanks and she will help you to find out what your options are in hernia surgery.
Should You Always Treat Hernia?
Surgery is the only available cure for hernias.
Hernias do not always require treatment, however. If they do not cause any symptoms or the risk of complication is low, then surgery is not necessary. This may also be the case in very old or seriously ill patients, as hernias rarely pose a serious risk.
The only type of hernia that requires treatment even before any complications develop is an symptomatic inguinal hernia. This type of hernia is more likely to become strangulated and cut off the blood supply to the surrounding tissues and bowels. This can be a life-threatening situation that can lead to gangrene, intestinal perforation or, in extreme cases, septic shock.
It's important to note that any kind of hernia can become strangulated and cause more serious symptoms to develop. If you feel a sudden pain, have a fever, abdominal pain, nausea or notice your hernia becoming hard or discolored, seek emergency services immediately. These are all signs of a “pinched” or strangulated hernia that require prompt treatment.
Fine-Needle Aspiration of Breast Cysts
Both open and laparoscopic surgeries are used to treat hernias. Hernia surgeries are also called hernia repair. With open surgery, the surgeon makes an incision over the area to reach the hernia. Once the hernia is exposed, the surgeon pushes the abdominal contents back into the abdominal cavity and the weakened abdominal wall is then closed with stitches or synthetic mesh. After your surgeon has repaired the hernia, they close the surrounding tissue and skin with sutures and mesh. Dr. Ebanks usually uses absorbable sutures for skin closure, which do not require removal later on. Furthermore, this type of surgery can be performed using local or general anesthesia, and patients are usually discharged from the hospital the same day. Endoscopic or laparoscopic inguinal hernia repair, on the other hand, is done under general anesthesia. This technique requires smaller incisions to insert an endoscope (camera) and other tools into the treatment area so your surgeon can view the inside of your body on a monitor. The surgeon will then close the hernia with mesh or stitches. One benefit of this procedure is less pain during recovery.
Make an Appointment
If you have symptoms of a hernia, feel free to make an appointment for a consultation with Dr. Tanja Ebanks at Cayman Surgery in the Cayman Islands. Dr. EbanksTanja is a general surgeon who has many years of experience performing surgery for a wide range of conditions, including hernias. She will carefully assess your condition and find the best treatment options for your case. To learn more about this procedure, call Dr. Ebanks today at 345 946 0067. You can also fill out our online contact form to have a staff member call you at a more convenient time. You can message Cayman Surgery directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Will a hernia heal on its own?
A hernia will not go away on its own. The only way to repair a hernia is with surgery. However, not every case requires surgery, and many people are able to delay treatment for months or years.
When is hernia surgery necessary?
Inguinal hernias always require surgery due to a high risk of complications. When hernias cause serious symptoms or when they become strangulated, surgery is necessary.
Is hernia surgery a major operation?
Yes, hernia repair is a major surgery. It sometimes requires large incisions and general anesthesia, all of which come with risks and the potential for complications.
Who performs hernia surgery?
A general surgeon like Dr. Ebanks usually performs hernia repairs.
Is hernia surgery safe?
Hernia repair is generally safe and comes with a high success rate, with reports showing 90-99 percent of all hernia repairs being successful.
How long is recovery from hernia surgery?
Most patients are able to leave the hospital on the same day of their operation. Full recovery takes around two to three weeks.
Will hernia surgery leave a scar?
Any hernia repair will leave a larger or smaller scar . Dr. Ebanks always aims to minimize scarring with special techniques and proper suturing.