Men's He alth 2022

Héinguinal hernia: symptoms, such as é surgery and recoveryção

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Héinguinal hernia: symptoms, such as é surgery and recoveryção
Héinguinal hernia: symptoms, such as é surgery and recoveryção

Inguinal hernia is a bulge that appears in the groin area, more common in men, which is usually due to a part of the intestine that comes out through a weak point in the abdominal muscles.

There are 2 main types of inguinal hernia:

  • Direct inguinal hernia: it is more common in adults and the elderly, occurring after making efforts that increase pressure on the belly, such as picking up heavy objects;
  • Indirect inguinal hernia: it is more common in babies and children, as it happens due to a congenital problem that allows a piece of intestine to enter the groin area and even the sac scrotum.

In both cases, the treatment is done with surgery, to put the intestine back in the correct place and strengthen the abdominal muscles, so that it doesn't happen again.

Inguinal hernia symptoms

The most common symptoms of inguinal hernia are:

  • Lump or swelling in the groin area;
  • Groin pain or discomfort when standing up, bending over, or lifting weights;
  • Heaviness in groin;
  • Pain radiating to the testicles, in the case of men.

In babies, the hernia can be more difficult to identify because there may not be a groin bump when changing the diaper. However, one way to assess the presence of a hernia is to look at the groin when the baby is crying or during a bowel movement or cough, as the pressure caused by these efforts makes the hernia more visible.

In almost all cases of hernia, the doctor can push the intestine into the abdomen, relieving symptoms, but surgery is always necessary to definitively correct the problem. When the hernia does not return to the interior of the abdomen, there is a high risk of incarceration, in which the intestine is trapped and tissue death can occur.

How to know if the hernia is incarcerated

To know if the hernia is incarcerated, that is, if the intestine is stuck, it is important to be aware of some symptoms, such as:

  • Very intense pain in hernia;
  • Vomiting;
  • Abdominal distension;
  • Absence of feces;
  • Swelling of the inguinal region.

This type of complication is more frequent in babies, as the hernia is often difficult to identify and, therefore, as the treatment is not started in time, the hernia gets worse over time.Thus, it is advised that, if there is a suspicion of hernia in the baby, consult the pediatrician as soon as possible.

When to make an appointment

The diagnosis of inguinal hernia can be made by a general practitioner, but it is usually necessary to refer to a general surgeon, who will evaluate the site and confirm the need, or not, for surgery.

In most cases, the diagnosis is made only with the physical examination, in which the doctor asks to cough or strain with the belly, to identify if the hernia is more prominent, helping in the identification. However, in some cases, other diagnostic tests, such as an ultrasound, may be necessary for confirmation.

Main causes of inguinal hernia

A hernia in the inguinal region occurs when the abdominal wall is weakened, allowing the intestine to put pressure on the muscles and end up protruding under the skin.For this reason, a hernia can only happen when there is a weakening of the abdominal muscles, which is more common in people with:

  • Increased abdominal pressure, due to chronic cough or constipation;
  • Birth defects in the abdominal region, in the case of children;
  • People with obesity and hypertension
  • Smokers.

In addition, hernia is also much more frequent in children or the elderly, due to the fragility of the abdominal wall.

Surgery for inguinal hernia

Surgery for inguinal hernia, also known as inguinal hernioplasty, is the best form of treatment, being indicated especially when there are symptoms. The surgery is performed under spinal anesthesia and takes approximately 2 hours.

This type of surgery can be done in a classic way, in which a cut is made in the region of the hernia to place the intestine in place, or by laparoscopy, in which only 3 small cuts are made, and it can be placed or not a synthetic mesh, which helps to strengthen the muscles in the area and prevent the formation of a new hernia.However, the type of surgery depends on the type of hernia and the patient's he alth status.

What is recovery like

Recovery is relatively quick, but since hernioplasty is almost always done in a classic way, it is usually necessary to stay in the hospital for 1 to 2 days, to ensure that vital signs are stable and that an infection does not develop.

Afterward, when returning home, it is important to take some precautions, especially during the first 2 weeks, such as:

  • Avoid bending the trunk until the wound is completely healed;
  • Do not hold more than 2 kg in weight;
  • Do not sleep on your stomach;
  • Increase consumption of foods rich in fiber to avoid constipation and straining to defecate.

Furthermore, it is also advised that during the first month, avoid exertion and sitting for a long time, therefore it is not recommended to drive.

Possible complications

The main complication of a hernia happens when the intestine gets too stuck in the abdominal wall, eventually losing its blood supply. When this happens, the tissues in the intestine can begin to die, causing severe pain, vomiting, nausea, and difficulty moving.

These cases usually only happen in an untreated hernia and should be treated as soon as possible in the hospital to avoid complete tissue death. If this happens, surgery may be necessary to remove part of the intestine.

In addition, as a consequence of inguinal hernia, there may be the development of scrotal hernia, in which the hernia reaches the scrotum, which is the tissue that surrounds and protects the testicle. Thus, in addition to intestinal strangulation, there may also be a change in the production and storage of sperm, leading to infertility. See more about scrotal hernia.

How to prevent a hernia from developing

It is not always possible to prevent a hernia from appearing, however, there are some measures that can reduce the risk, such as:

  • Practice regular physical exercise, at least 3 times a week, to keep your muscles strong;
  • Eat a diet rich in vegetables and other fiber, to decrease the chances of constipation that increases abdominal pressure;
  • Avoid picking up very heavy objects, especially without help.

Furthermore, quitting smoking and maintaining an ideal body weight also helps to reduce pressure in the abdominal area, decreasing the chances of a hernia. See how to calculate your ideal weight.

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