While groin discomfort is common, it’s important to seek proper medical care if you feel you may be suffering from a hernia to alleviate the painful and debilitating symptoms that can occur. Dr. Buckminster Farrow, MD, with offices in Houston and Katy, Texas, is a hernia specialist who has years of experience properly treating inguinal hernias, helping his patients get back to the activities that they love.
An inguinal hernia occurs in the groin when a piece of fat or intestine pushes through a weakened area of your lower abdominal wall tissue. Due to structural differences between men and women, men are much more likely to develop this type of hernia.
Inguinal hernias can occur anytime from infancy to older adulthood, although men over 40 are more likely to develop this type of hernia. Research shows 30% of men experience this condition at some point in their lifetime, making inguinal hernias a very common occurrence.
Knowing the symptoms of an inguinal hernia is important since proper treatment from a hernia specialist like Dr. Farrow is often necessary to address the situation.
Symptoms often include one-sided abdominal or groin pain that gets worse with coughing, bending, or lifting heavy objects. In addition, most people notice a bulge in the area that may even protrude down toward the scrotum. Inguinal hernias can occur on just one side of the groin or can sometimes occur on both the right and left sides simultaneously (i.e. bilateral inguinal hernias).
As with other hernia repair procedures, there are different surgical options depending on the particular severity and unique needs of your situation. The traditional way of performing inguinal hernia repair surgery is to create an incision over the weakened area and patch the opening, thus preventing it from protruding anymore.
While effective, and necessary in certain situations, it can also lead to longer recovery times since it requires a larger incision. To allow quicker recovery and less pain, Dr. Farrow usually performs laparoscopic hernia repairs, with a mesh patch to reinforce the weakened tissue. Dr. Farrow discusses your options with you beforehand and will customize the optimal treatment plan to get you back to being you.
For those that have laparoscopic surgery, you’ll return home the day of your surgery. Pain medication may be necessary for just a few days, and it’s important to take it easy until such time as Dr. Farrow determines you can be more active. Most patients return to work within 5-7 days for office-based jobs or 2-4 weeks if the job requires more strenuous activity.
Umbilical hernias occur at the belly button where the muscular wall of the abdomen doesn’t reinforce the strong connective tissue called fascia. If enough pressure occurs in the abdomen over time the weakened area can tear causing a hole in the fascia. When this happens, a bulge can form, causing discomfort and an altered appearance. In adults, when the intestine pushes through the hole, it can become strangulated, presenting a potentially serious condition that requires immediate medical care.
Often times, umbilical hernias don’t cause any symptoms, and as such, don’t need to be treated. However, one of the most noticeable symptoms is a swelling or bulging appearance in the area of the umbilicus, which may be visible only during certain activities such as straining or coughing. In adults, umbilical hernias can cause discomfort and nausea, and during strangulation may cause vomiting, discoloration, and severe pain.
Umbilical hernias occur due to weaknesses in the fascial tissue that surrounds your abdomen. After birth, the area the umbilical cord connected to usually closes off completely. However, if this doesn’t heal fully, it can cause a weakness in the tissue that can lead to an umbilical hernia during infancy or later in life.
In addition, certain risk factors can increase the pressure in your abdomen leading to the formation of an umbilical hernia, including:
If you suspect that you have an umbilical hernia, schedule a consultation with Dr. Farrow to learn about your treatment options.
While an umbilical hernia can be debilitating, Dr. Farrow provides umbilical hernia repair surgery that is uniquely tailored to your needs. If your umbilical hernia is causing any discomfort or posing a risk for strangulation, Dr. Farrow may recommend surgery. Both open surgery and minimally invasive laparoscopic procedures are available, depending on your unique situation. As is the case with other surgeries, the recovery time for laparoscopic surgery is less than for open surgery. Open surgery can be a better option however if there is a separation of the abdominal muscles (diastasis) along with the hernia, as typically occurs after pregnancy.
An incisional hernia occurs when organs or fatty tissues push through the abdominal wall where the incision for surgery was previously made. As many as 30% of patients who have had abdominal surgery will develop a hernia at the surgery site. Incisional hernias, while treatable, can have many detrimental symptoms.
Unfortunately, incisional hernias can cause negative symptoms weeks, months, or even years after the initial surgery. These symptoms can both alter the appearance of your abdomen and impact your day-to-day activities.
While incisional hernias can occur in any individual following abdominal surgery, there are certain risk factors that make them more likely to occur. Anything that negatively impacts your body’s ability to heal properly or anything that increases the pressure in the abdomen can favor the development of an incisional hernia, including:
In addition, certain lifestyle factors increase your chances of developing an incisional hernia, including:
While hernias can be painful and debilitating, treatment is available to most people experiencing this condition.
If you’re seeking relief from an incisional hernia, Dr. Farrow and his team can help. If the hernia is small enough, it may not require surgery at this time. However, if it’s growing or is causing pain, incisional hernia repair may be necessary.
This process involves reducing the protruding organs or tissue back into your abdominal cavity and then properly closing the hole through which they protruded. This can be performed both with open surgery or with minimally invasive (laparoscopic) surgery, depending on the situation.
Dr. Farrow has performed thousands of incisional hernia repairs and has extensive experience in properly addressing all sizes and types of hernias. He will develop a treatment plan that uniquely fits the type of hernia you have and your lifestyle. Dr. Farrow knows how to get you back to being you as quickly as possible!
To learn more about hernia repair, schedule a consultation with Dr. Farrow online or by phone today.