Types of hernias
Poke around on the internet and you’re bound to hear terms like inguinal, umbilical, and epigastric. “What do those words mean?” you might ask. “Are there types that are bigger or more dangerous?”
The names of the different types correspond to where they occur on the body:
- Inguinal Hernias make up 96% of groin hernias. They are also most common in men. Patients need inguinal hernia repairs when the intestine or the bladder squeezes an opening in the diaphragm through the abdominal wall or into the inguinal canal in the groin.
- Epigastric Hernia is when fat forms a lump in your upper belly as it pushes out through a weakness between the belly button and breastbone.
- Ventral Hernias occur when a bulge of tissues pops through an open area or a weakness in your abdominal wall muscles. It can occur at any location on your belly.
- Umbilical Hernia is when part of the small intestine pokes through the abdominal wall near the belly button. This is common in newborns, obese women, and women who have had a lot of children.
“Wow, that all sounds intense. How do I know if I have a hernia?”
Are you experiencing any of these signs or symptoms?
- Inguinal hernia (1):
- A bulge in the area on either side of your pubic bone, which becomes more obvious when you’re upright. Coughing or straining will amplify it.
- A burning or aching sensation at the bulge
- Pain or discomfort in your groin which intensifies when bending over, coughing or lifting
- A heavy or dragging sensation in your groin
- Weakness or pressure in your groin
- Pain and swelling around the testicles when the protruding intestine descends into the scrotum
- Epigastric hernia emergency signs and symptoms include (2):
- High fever
- Difficulty urinating
- Continuous bleeding
- The need to vomit
- Ventral hernia signs and symptoms include (3):
- A bulge in the abdomen that gets larger.
- The need to vomit
- Umbilical Hernia signs and symptoms include (4):
- A bulge or swelling in the area of the navel.
- The bulge gets bigger when you bend, cough, or strain to have a bowel movement.
- Pain or burning in your abdomen.
- The skin over the bulge may swell
What are the causes?
Common causes of muscle weakness include:
- failure of the abdominal wall to close in the womb, which is a congenital defect
- chronic coughing
- damage from injury or surgery
Factors that strain your body and may cause a hernia, if you have weak muscles, include:
- Pregnancy, which puts pressure on your abdomen
- Constipation, which causes you to strain when having a bowel movement
- Lifting heavy weights
- Fluid in the abdomen, or ascites
- Sudden weight loss
- Surgery in the area
- Persistent coughing or sneezing
What is a hernia surgery?
Hernia surgery is when a surgeon closes the rupture during abdominal surgery. Surgeons can do this through Herniorrhaphy (tissue or muscle repair) or Hernioplasty (mesh repair).
During a herniorrhaphy, a surgeon will return the organs to their original position and stitch the hole shut.
During a hernioplasty, instead of stitching the muscle or tissue opening shut, the surgeon covers it with a flat, sterile mesh, often made of flexible plastics, such as polypropylene, or animal tissue.
Surgeons cut incisions around the hole in the shape of the mesh. Then they stitch the patch into the healthy, intact surrounding tissues.
Damaged or weak tissues surrounding the hernia will use the mesh as a scaffold to strengthen them as they regrow.
How much does it cost?
NTTC offers the flat-rate cash prices below for these procedures. This option helps patients who either don’t have or don’t want to use insurance. These prices include the facility fee, surgeon fee, and anesthesia: