A bulge in the lower abdomen or groin is one of the most significant symptoms of inguinal hernia. This article will provide you detailed information on causes, symptoms, and treatment options for inguinal hernia.
Inguinal hernia occurs when there is a lump in the groin due to a rupture or a tear in the abdominal wall. The lump is a soft tissue which is usually a part of the small intestine. The condition is very common in men, and is rarely found in women. Inguinal hernia develops in the inguinal canal in men; whereas in women, it is found in the area between the uterus and the vagina. It is the most common type of hernia.
A congenital defect, where a weak spot or a defect exists in the abdominal wall from birth, is the most common cause. On the other hand, increased pressure on the abdomen due to reasons like pregnancy, lifting heavy weight, straining during urination, etc., can also lead to inguinal hernia. Aging is also considered as one of the risk factors for hernia.
No noticeable symptoms are seen in the primary stage. When the person bends down, lifts weight, coughs or laughs, he may experience pain in the groin. A bulge in the groin may be seen in the later stages. It is very painful and tends to worsen with movement. A sudden pain in the scrotum and urinary problems are some of the other symptoms observed. In case of children, vomiting, nausea, abdominal pain and discomfort, irritability, etc., is also observed.
The bulge of hernia flattens when a person lies down. Inguinal hernia generally is not a life-threatening condition. However, if it is not timely treated, it can lead to several complications like trapping of the loop of the intestine in the hernia. In this case, the blood supply to the intestine gets cut off which results in strangulation of the hernia. A strangulated hernia can lead to several serious complications. Therefore, if one experiences aforementioned symptoms, he/she should consult the doctor immediately.
Physical examination and urine tests can effectively help in diagnosing inguinal hernia. In most of the cases, surgery is recommended for treating this condition. The doctor may suggest an open surgery where an incision is made in the groin or a laparoscopic surgery where a laparoscope is inserted inside the abdomen. Strangulated hernia is a serious medical condition and needs immediate surgery. On the other hand, if hernia is diagnosed at an early stage, the doctor may prescribe a truss garment for the patient which helps in pushing the hernia downwards.
It is also essential to avoid all the things that exert pressure on the abdomen like lifting excess weight, straining during urination and defecation, constipation, etc. A change in lifestyle and maintaining a healthy body weight helps in preventing inguinal hernia to a great extent.
Disclaimer: This article is meant only to provide information. It is not to be used as a substitute for doctor’s consultation and advice.