There are many conditions that cause abdominal pain. Some are mild and harmless, while others can be life-threatening.
The location of your pain can tell us a lot about what is causing your discomfort. Appendicitis and an ulcer may come to mind, but did you consider the possibility that your pain is the result of a hernia?
At Preva Surgicare - Imperial Surgery Center, we help you find what’s causing the discomfort in your abdomen. Our team of doctors assesses your symptoms and performs imaging studies to determine if you have a hernia. If so, we get you the treatment you need to kick the pain for good.
Hernias are a medical condition that occurs when tissues in your body push through another part of your body.
For example, if you have a hiatal hernia, part of your stomach pushes through your diaphragm. It occurs at a weak point in the tissue, allowing your stomach to bulge through. But there are other types of hernias, including:
Epigastric hernias occur in the area above your belly button, known as the epigastric area. You are more likely to feel the hernia when excess pressure is exerted on your abdomen, such as when you laugh or cough.
These types of hernias sometimes occur after abdominal surgery. If the incision in your abdominal wall doesn’t heal correctly, it can lead to an incisional hernia.
Ventral hernias also fall into this category and occur when the hernia pops out in the midline of your abdomen.
This type of hernia occurs when tissues in your body push through weakened areas in your umbilicus, or belly button. Usually, there is a visible bulging area around your belly button. You likely feel the hernia more when you strain, such as when you have a bowel movement.
This hernia usually appears in the lower area of the abdomen or the groin. Inguinal hernias are the result of part of your intestine pushing through a weakened spot in your stomach wall. It’s called an inguinal hernia because the bulge typically ends up bulging through the inguinal canal.
The symptoms you experience with a hernia rely greatly on the type of hernia you have. If you have a hiatal hernia, you don’t have a noticeable bulge like the other types of hernias, but you may have symptoms such as:
You may also experience frequent episodes of food and drink coming back up, also known as regurgitation.
With other types of hernias, though, your symptoms differ from that of a hiatal hernia. One of the most common and noticeable signs of other types of hernias is a lump or bulge. There are other signs as well, including:
Sometimes, you’re able to push the bulge back in, but that doesn’t make the hernia go away. Often the lump reappears when you cough, laugh, or cry due to the increased pressure in your abdominal area.
Although hernias are painful, they’re not usually a medical emergency. But there are circumstances when you should seek immediate treatment for your hernia, because it can lead to a life-threatening condition. Signs that you need emergency care include:
These symptoms could indicate that your hernia has become incarcerated, meaning the tissue has become trapped, and the blood supply is cut off to that tissue. This can lead to a condition known as strangulation, and results in loss of blood supply to the tissue. This is a medical emergency and requires emergency surgery.
If your hernia is non-emergent, our team may watch it for awhile, but ultimately you may need to have surgery to repair the weakened tissue that’s causing the hernia. These procedures are usually not an emergency and can be done minimally invasively.
If you have symptoms that mimic hernia symptoms, don't hesitate to contact our practice in Houston, Texas, today.