A hernia happens when part of your insides pushes through a weakness in the muscle or tissue that is meant to keep those inside. It usually happens somewhere on your abdomen or groin area but can also protrude through your belly button or through areas with previous surgical scars. You may also have heard of inguinal or femoral hernias, which are so called because of their specific location on the abdomen.
You will know that you have a hernia if you notice a lump in your abdomen or groin where you never had one before. You may be able to push it back into its original place but usually over time, the weakness and the hernia will get bigger. This causes the lump to remain more permanently positioned outside its usual cavity.
There are various causes of hernia, including obesity, chronic lung disease, trauma to the area and unsafe lifting of heavy weights. Poor diet and smoking can lead to weakened muscles and increase the risk of hernias developing.
It is possible to have a hernia and suffer no symptoms at all. Indeed, many people with a hernia do not even realise they have one. Some people with a hernia experience mild symptoms such as pain when they lift heavy objects, or when they sneeze. They may also have pain on going to the toilet. These symptoms can impact on quality of life and could become more severe over time.
The problem of having a hernia and not getting it repaired is that you run the risk of developing serious complications, which may be life-threatening. These life-threatening conditions include:
Ultimately your hernia will not go away unless you have it repaired with hernia surgery.
Hernia repair is one of the most common surgical procedures worldwide. For some people, it is even possible to have the hernia repair performed as a day case. There are two main approaches that a surgeon may take to repair your hernia: open surgery or keyhole, both carried out under general anaesthetic. The purpose of the procedure is to reposition the hernia back to its rightful place and then strengthen the weakened area with stitches or a surgical mesh.
Surgery is the only way of permanently treating a hernia. The sooner you get it fixed, the easier the surgery and the quicker you will heal. Recovery from the operation can be between 2 and 3 weeks.
By repairing the hernia, you rule out the possibility of developing any complications, including those severe, life-threatening conditions described above.
Potential complications arising from hernia repair surgery depend on your health as well as the size of the hernia and condition of the muscle or tissue wall. Your surgeon will be able to advise you on these.
At Ramsay Health Care we are proud to work in partnership with some of the highest qualified and experienced ophthalmologist, orthopaedic surgeons, neurosurgeons, pain management consultants and physiotherapists in the UK. Our holistic care offers you the best treatment!
At Ramsay you won’t have to wait for an appointment for your hernia repair. Your treatment may be covered by medical insurance and self-pay packages are available on request. We have first class facilities and all self-funding and most privately insured patients can enjoy our Premium Care offering exclusive benefits including superb food, a relaxing environment, priority access and appointments to suit your lifestyle. Our aim is to help you feel like a guest as well as a patient.