Hernia Awareness

Hernia Awareness

What is a hernia?

A hernia is a condition in which a portion of organ or soft tissue pushes through a hole or weak spot in a muscle or surrounding connective tissue that lines your abdomen or groin. It can be caused by an action that puts pressure or strain on an organ in that weak spot.
Sometimes you can see the hernia, depending on its location and size. Certain activities can worsen the condition, like bending over or lifting heavy objects. Hernia’s can be very painful and disrupt your daily activities.

There are several types of hernias:
• Inguinal. This groin hernia involves a portion of intestine or bladder protruding. It is the most common type of hernia and far more common in men than women.
• Femoral. In this type of groin hernia, the intestine pushes through tissue near where the femoral vein enters the upper thigh. These affect women more often than men, but they are uncommon.
• Umbilical. A hernia at the belly button, or naval, is common in infants, as well as women who are obese or have had several children. There is a natural weakness in that area. It is where the muscles and tissues come together.
• Hiatal. This hernia occurs when the upper stomach squeezes through the hiatus, an opening in the diaphragm where the esophagus passes through.
• Incisional. These hernias happen at the site of a surgical incision.

Signs that you might have a hernia include:
• A visible bulge in the affected area.
• Discomfort in the groin area that gets worse when you bend or lift something.
• Heaviness in the groin or abdomen.
• Pain or discomfort during a bowel movement or urination.
• Other symptoms that have been reported are bloating, heartburn, and constipation.

Treatment options depend on the type of hernia you have and your state of health. At first, your doctor may suggest monitoring your condition for changes. If the hernia does not improve or worsens, your doctor may discuss surgery. KC Home Medical Supply carries hernia belts, or trusses as well as abdominal binders. A physician may suggest these in place of surgical treatment or to ease symptoms until surgery can be done. Our staff can help you choose which product best suits your condition.

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