A hernia occurs when an internal part of the body protrudes through the surrounding tissue wall or pushes out through a weak area of muscle. Hernias normally develop between the chest and the hips and may not have any associated symptoms.
Hernia diagnosis and treatment – Windsor, Berkshire
As specialists in the diagnosis and treatment of hernias, we see many different types, which may vary in severity and how they are treated. Hernias rarely go away by themselves and can worsen if left untreated. In some cases, they can result in serious complications so it is important to get a professional diagnosis as soon as possible and discuss treatment options.
The most common types of hernia include:
Groin (inguinal) hernia
A weak area in the groin can lead to an inguinal hernia. This is caused by part of the contents of the abdominal cavity – colon, bladder, intestines or fat – pushing through the lower abdominal wall. Men are eight times more likely to suffer from inguinal hernias than women as they are prone to weakness at the point where the spermatic cord exits the abdomen to pass down into the scrotum. Symptoms may include:
- A bulge in the groin area which is more pronounced when you stand up and recedes when you lie down.
- A heavy, dragging sensation in your groin.
- Burning or aching at the site of the bulge.
- Rarely, a section of bowel becomes trapped and its blood supply is cut off (known as ‘strangulation’). This usually requires emergency surgery.
If a section of bowel becomes trapped and its blood supply is cut off you will need emergency surgery. People most at risk of this type of hernia include men, pregnant women and anyone with a weakness in their lower abdominal wall.
This is an injury to the inner thigh muscle. Groin strains are common in athletes and can also be the result of falling or lifting heavy objects. Symptoms, which can vary in severity, include:
- Pain and weakness in the upper leg.
- Difficulty walking.
- Swelling and bruising.
People most at risk of groin strains include footballers, rugby players, martial arts practitioners and skaters. They are particularly common when people return to training after the offseason and may be out of condition.
Umbilical hernias are characterised by a bulge near the belly button, caused by part of the bowel or fatty tissue protruding through a weak area in the abdominal wall. They are more common in women than in men and can also develop in infants. Symptoms include:
- A lump in the navel that becomes smaller when lying down.
- Pain or discomfort in adults although it may be painless in children.
Umbilical hernias are caused by too much pressure being exerted on a weak section of abdominal muscle. Women who have multiple pregnancies are at risk as are people who are obese and anyone who lifts heavy objects. Around three quarters of newborn babies weighing less than 1.5kgs at birth have an umbilical hernia.
A previous incision in the abdominal wall (for example, due to appendectomy, laparoscopy or caesarean section) can lead to weakness that may result in an incisional hernia. Around 12-15% of abdominal surgery results in this type of hernia, which can be repaired usually with a specialised mesh.
Patients are at risk if there is a history of previous abdominal surgery but particularly if there are further risk factors such as obesity, diabetes, smoking or an infection when the wound was healing.
This type of hernia often develops at the site of a stoma. They are not normally painful but they can be inconvenient, making it difficult to attach a stoma appliance properly.
They develop when an opening is made in the abdominal wall to create a stoma. This can increase in size over time, resulting in a hernia. Anyone who has a stoma is at risk.
Hernia Diagnosis and Treatment | Windsor – Berkshire
The consultants at Windsor Bowel Clinic are specialists in diagnosing and treating all types of hernia.
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To book your consultation, simply contact our team who will be able to find a suitable appointment date and time.