What is a hernia and what causes them?
A hernia happens when an organ, particularly the intestine, or fatty tissue pushes through a weak spot or hole in the muscle or connective tissue surrounding it.
Hernias frequently happen around the abdominal wall. They can be caused by increased pressure in the abdominal area, overuse of muscles, morbid obesity, picking up heavy objects, prolonged or frequent bouts of coughing or sneezing, constipation or smoking.
Symptoms can include a bulge in the area where the hernia occurs, severe pain, especially when bending, lifting or straining, acid re-flux, nausea, vomiting, difficulty swallowing and constipation or blood in the stool.
How are hernias treated?
Hernias are treated by either incision or laparoscopic surgery, to reinsert the protruding organ or tissue and close the hole or weak spot. Sometimes surgical mesh is inserted to reinforce the area.