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Hernia means the entire or part of the organ protrudes through the weak point of the fascia that contains it and forms a lump under the skin.
Causes of hernia
1.Congenital: congenital malformation of the abdominal wall
2.Acquired: prolonged pressure causing the loss or weakness of the collagen, therefore intestines may breakthrough the weak point
There are many types of hernias. The classification of hernias depends on the clinical symptoms and locations. Symptoms of hernia include retractable/ non-retractable lumps, blood flow obstruction, etc. Locations of hernia include groin, pelvis, navel, incision sites, upper abdomen and the diaphragm. Inguinal hernia is the most common hernia, as organs in the abdomen can easily breakthrough the weak point into the inguinal canal due to weak muscle tension in that region.
If you have the following symptoms, you may have hernia:
-Lumps on the abdomen
-Enlarging lumps on the abdomen
-The lumps may be painful occasionally
-The lumps may be smaller when the patient is lying flat
-The lumps enlarge when the patient is standing or coughing
Hernia will obstruct blood flow, reducing blood supply to the part of organ involved. Eventually leads to cell death, or even peritonitis. Since peritonitis is potentially fatal, surgical intervention should be adopted as soon as possible.
Meanwhile, the protruding lumps may cause skin redness and severe pain which increase gradually, affecting the entire abdomen.
Surgery is the most effective treatment of hernia. Surgeries include conventional mash repair and laparoscopic hernia repair.
1. Conventional surgical mash repair
In conventional open surgery, anincision of 5-10cm long will be made on the abdomen that near the groin areaand place a mash, which will strengthen the abdominal wall and reduce thechance of recurrence, to repair the weak point on the abdominal wall. Theincision will then be closed using stitches or staples and a dressing will beapplied to the area
2. Laparoscopic mash repair
During the surgery, doctorswould make a 1cm long incision around the naval to place the laparoscope withlight source. Images captured by the laparoscope will be displayed on theprojector, allowing doctors to locate the area to be repaired. A mash will beplaced on the weak point located, which will strengthen the abdominal wall torepair the hernia.
Laparoscopic hernia repair is more commonlyused than open repair. As the surgery is minimally invasive, patients willexperience less pain, and have shorter hospitalization and recovery period. Ithas a relatively lower recurrent rate.