What Is A Hernia?
What Is A Hernia?Dr. Todd S. Harris from California Hernia Specialists explains what a hernia is and how they form.
What Are The Symptoms Of A Hernia?
A hernia is a weakening of the muscles and supportive tissues of the abdominal wall. This weakening can allow fat and sometimes internal organs to push through muscle creating a hole in the muscle. This hole is called a hernia.
What Are Hernia Symptoms?Dr. Todd Harris from California Hernia Specialists explains the different symptoms that can be seen when a patient develops a hernia.
What Symptoms Prompted You to Seek Treatment?Past patients of Dr. Harris and California Hernia Specialists discuss what symptoms their hernia was causing and how long they waited before seeking treatment.
Who Can Get A Hernia?Anyone can get a hernia. This applies to men and women, young and old. People who have a weakening in the muscles from birth are more likely to get a hernia. Heavy lifting and heavy activity can put an excessive amount of strain on the muscles and supportive tissues of the abdominal wall increasing the chances of developing a hernia. Although proper lifting techniques can help reduce hernias from forming, nothing can absolutely prevent a hernia from occurring.
What Are The Different Types Of Hernias?
The most common locations for hernias are in the groins (inguinal), and at the belly button (umbilical). This is because the muscles in these two areas are already the thinnest and under the most stress during activities. Hernias can form in other locations such as the ventral region, the epigastric region, and through prior surgery sites (incisional). We discuss the types of hernias in more detail on our site, starting with the ‘Types of Hernias‘ page.
What are the Different Types of Abdominal Wall Hernias?Dr. Todd S. Harris from California Hernia Specialists answers one of the most common questions from hernia patients: what are the different types of hernias.
How Does A Hernia Form?
Over time, muscles under a lot of stress can become thin, weaken, and eventually allow a small tear or hole to form. Initially, this tear or hole may be very small and unnoticeable. However, with time, the hole enlarges until it is large enough to allow fat or intestines to push through creating a hernia. This most commonly happens in the groin and at the navel due to the excessive amount of stress on the muscles in those two locations.
How do I know if I have a hernia?
Patients who have a new, or long standing lump in the groin or the abdominal area might have a hernia. If this lump is able to be pushed back inside, but continues to recur, it may indicate that a hernia is present. However, some patients may have only pain in the groin, the thigh, or the lower abdomen. Of course the only way to know if you do, or do not have a hernia, is to be seen by a hernia specialist.
What are the different symptoms of a muscle strain versus a hernia?
A muscle strain is often located above the groin area and is not associated with a bulge. Ice and then heat may improve the symptoms of a strain. Hernias tend to not improve with conservative therapy.
What should I do about my hernia symptoms?
Patients who only have pain in the groin and the lower abdomen, should try ice immediately, and then heat after about 48 hours. Taking anti-inflammatory medications like Advil, Motrin, or Aleeve can also help with a muscle pull or strain. We encourage patients to rest for 2-4 weeks, and to take the anti-inflammatory medications for 2 weeks as well.
However, the pain associated with a hernia often doesn’t improve since the pain is caused by pressure on the nerves and muscles around the site of the hernia. For these patients who think they have a hernia, we recommend that they schedule a visit with a hernia specialist for a formal diagnosis, and possible treatment if needed.
Would you encourage others to learn more about treatment options?Past patients of Dr. Harris and California Hernia Specialists encourage patients to become educated on their options for hernia repair, as well as researching the best choices for who to see for specialty hernia care.
When should I be seen for my symptoms?
Patients who have had pain for over a week with no improvement despite ice, heat, and pain medications might have a hernia. We recommend that these patients be seen by a hernia specialist to be evaluated. Any patient with a bulge in the groin or in the abdominal area should be seen immediately.
When Should I be Seen for my Hernia Symptoms?Dr. Todd S. Harris from California Hernia Specialists answers what a patient should do when they think they may have a hernia.
What tests are needed to diagnose a hernia?
Most patients do not need any tests or x-rays to diagnose a hernia. The patients symptoms (pain, pulling, aches, etc) and the examination is usually enough to make an accurate diagnosis of a hernia. Typically ultrasound tests and other x-rays are not able to clearly see a hernia and are not helpful in the diagnosis.
Can women get a hernia?
Yes. Women can get weakening of their abdominal muscles and develop hernias just like men. Although groin hernias are seen in men about 97% of the time, there are clearly still groin hernias seen in female patients. Femoral hernias, which are a variation of an inguinal or groin hernia, are much more common in women than men. Umbilical hernias are seen in men and women more equally.