A hernia is a medical problem that affects many Americans. Although hernias are more common among the older population, the condition can occur in people of all ages. It is important to know the symptoms of a hernia so that you can visit a doctor and receive the appropriate treatment if you develop this condition. If treatment fails because of medical malpractice or defective mesh, you can always seek legal guidance from an attorney. This article addresses the following issue: how to tell if you have a hernia? This hernia mesh lawsuit article also answers: what are the signs of a hernia?
What Is a Hernia?
When a muscle or an area of tissue is weak, an opening can form and cause an organ to slip through the hole. This results in the formation of a hernia, which is contained in a sac of the connective tissue known as fascia. As Healthline states, most hernia sites are located in the abdominal region where part of the intestine slips through an opening of weak muscle. Hernias tend to grow bigger over time as more of the organ pushes through the opening.
Types of Hernias
There are several types of hernias that form in different areas of the body. The different types of hernias include:
Inguinal Hernias – Inguinal hernias are the most common and account for roughly 96 percent of all groin hernias, according to WebMD. An inguinal hernia forms when a portion of the intestine emerges through a breach in the inguinal canal. This hernia is much more common in men.
Femoral Hernias – Similar to an inguinal hernia, this hernia develops when part of the intestine pushes into the area of the groin where the femoral artery passes. Femoral hernias are seen more in women who are pregnant or overweight and can sometimes be mistaken for inguinal hernias.
Umbilical Hernias – These hernias form near the naval and are sometimes seen in infants. In some children, their umbilical hernias can disappear over time as the abdominal muscles strengthen. Women who are overweight or have gone through child labor are also prone to these hernias.
Incisional Hernias – Although uncommon, incisional hernias can form as the result of weakness in the abdominal wall caused by abdominal surgery. As eMedicineHealth states, incisional hernias are thought to occur in less than 10 percent of all abdominal surgeries.
Hiatal Hernias – If part of the stomach passes through the diaphragm’s opening into the esophagus, a hiatal hernia can form.
Causes of Hernias
The Mayo Clinic states that many hernias are caused by strenuous activities that increase abdominal pressure such as lifting heavy objects. Straining during bowel movements, urination or giving birth can also cause hernias to develop. Some people get hernias by simply coughing or sneezing. If you were born with a natural weak spot in your abdominal wall, you will be more prone to develop a hernia at some point in your life.
Additional risk factors may increase your chances of getting a hernia. You may be more prone to a hernia if you:
- Are a man
- Are overweight
- Are older than 50
- Have a family history of hernias
- Use improper techniques when lifting heavy objects
Are Hernias Dangerous?
According to MedicineNet.com, a hernia may become dangerous if it cannot be pushed back through the opening of weak muscle or tissue. When this occurs, the hernia is considered to be incarcerated. An incarcerated hernia itself is not dangerous but may cause life-threatening complications if it becomes strangulated and loses its blood supply. Emergency medical care is necessary for a strangulated hernia.
Hernia Symptoms | signs of a hernia
A noticeable bulge in the groin or abdomen is often a telltale sign of a hernia. This bulge can sometimes be pushed back through the muscle or tissue opening but will slip out through the hole again when the area is strained during physical activities. When the hernia can be pushed back through the opening, it is considered to be reducible. Your hernia may naturally reduce when you are lying down and pop back out when you stand again. It is crucial that victims understand:
- signs of a hernia
- how to tell if you have a hernia?
- how do you know if you have a hernia?
Other hernia symptoms include:
- A burning sensation at the hernia site
- Heaviness or pressure in the groin or abdomen
- Acid reflux (usually seen in hiatal hernias)
It is also important to be aware of the symptoms of a strangulated hernia. If you suspect that you have a strangulated hernia, call 911. Symptoms of a strangulated hernia include:
- Severe pain at the hernia site
- Nausea and vomiting
- Constipation and the inability to pass gas
- A change in color at the hernia site (may appear to be red, blue or purple)
If you suspect that you have a hernia, your doctor can perform tests to confirm a diagnosis. A physical examination of the bulge will help your doctor determine if you have a hernia or another medical condition. In some cases, a bulge is not always apparent even when a person has a hernia. To be completely sure that what you have is a hernia, your doctor may want you to have:
- An ultrasound
- An MRI
- A CT scan
- A series of X-rays taken
Hernia Treatment and signs of a hernia
Some small hernias might not need any treatment if they are mostly asymptomatic and can be reduced easily. However, surgery is the only reliable way to treat a hernia and is necessary for most people. Open repair is the most common type of surgery and involves making an incision at the hernia site to push the bulging organ back through the opening of weak muscle or tissue and sealing the hole. Medical News Today notes that smaller hernias can often be repaired laparoscopically with smaller incisions and faster healing times.
A well informed victim will know how to get the legal and medical advice he or she needs. It is importnat that victims know the signs of a hernia. Here are questions victims need the answers to:
- how to tell if you have a hernia
- how do you know if you have a hernia
Surgeons use different methods to close the areas of weakness through which hernias protrude. In a tension repair, surrounding muscle is sewn together to close the hole. Since hernia recurrence can sometimes be higher with tension repair, most doctors today use surgical mesh to seal the opening. Even though most people respond well to having mesh, some patients experience complications that result in debilitating pain and a much lower quality of life.
If you undergo hernia repair surgery and develop serious health problems because of hernia mesh or medical malpractice, you should consider hiring a hernia mesh lawsuit attorney who may be able to get you compensation for your suffering.