Inguinal hernia is developed due to the bulging of soft tissues into the inguinal canal. Treatment basically involves wearing a supportive device or performing a surgical procedure for repairing the weak muscles.
Inguinal hernia refers to a digestive system disorder, wherein, the soft tissues of the abdominal cavity (particularly the intestine) protrude through weak muscles in the groin area. In majority of the reported cases, the primary cause is congenital, meaning that, the weak muscle spot is present before birth. It may be manifested soon after birth or later in life, when there is an increased pressure in the weak spot. Based on the size, it may not be very serious or manifest painful symptoms. Accordingly, an appropriate treatment option is recommended for the patient.
With an inguinal hernia, either symptomatic or asymptomatic, there is always a risk of limited blood supply over the affected portion. Symptoms, if manifested, include tenderness, sharp pain, and burning sensation in the groin. The affected area is more painful while indulging in physical activities, straining, coughing, and sneezing. In severe protrusions, this condition can lead to strangulation, a condition in which a section of the intestinal loop gets trapped in the inguinal canal.
Though this condition affects people of both genders, men are at a higher risk than women. In men, it can result in an abnormal bulging in the scrotum area. While in women, it is most common during pregnancy, which is basically due to the increased weight and pressure in the abdominal muscles. Also known as groin hernia, it is the most frequently occurring hernia in humans, accounting to about 75 percent of all hernia cases.
Treatment without surgery is recommended only for patients who have mild discomfort or no symptoms at all. Such a case that can be restored without surgery is called reducible inguinal hernia. With non-surgical treatment, the patient is recommended to wear a supportive device called a truss. This device pressurizes the protruded hernia, which over time helps in containing the hernia.
In order to cure symptomatic inguinal hernia, there is not much to say, as surgical repair is the only effectual technique. Depending upon the procedure and approach, there are two types of operations. The first method is herniorrhaphy, a procedure in which the protruded intestine is replaced back to its original location, and the weak muscles are repaired by stitching. This method requires 4 – 6 weeks for complete recovery. The second surgery option is a laparoscopic method called hernioplasty. Over here, small incisions are made, and the weak muscles are repaired by placing a synthetic mesh. The mesh is secured in the inguinal area with clips or by stapling or suturing. Hernioplasty is less painful, and the patient can resume his normal duties within a few day’s time.
After the surgical procedure is over, painkillers are prescribed to combat post surgical symptoms. As far as the effectiveness of the treatment is concerned, the non-surgical option is debatable. There is lack of clinical trials that prove the potency of a hernia truss in reversing the protrusion of tissues. Thus, most doctors recommend surgery for effective treatment.
Disclaimer: This HealthHearty article is for informative purposes only, and should not be replaced for the advice of a medical professional.