When there is a weakness in the abdominal wall, an abdominal wall hernia can develop. The muscles and tissue of the abdominal wall provide strength and hold in all the contents of the abdominal cavity. If there is an opening in the wall, it can allow the inside to press through creating a hernia. Commonly, there is pain with a hernia, and if you think you might have one, here is everything you should know about abdominal wall hernias.
Types Of Abdominal Wall Hernias
There are four basic types of abdominal wall hernias.
- Inguinal hernias are common, and they develop in the groin area.
- Femoral hernias develop even lower in the groin.
- Incisional hernias occur where a patient has had a surgical procedure and the incision has not healed properly.
- Umbilical hernias develop in the abdominal wall near the belly button, a natural opening in the abdominal wall.
Common Causes Of A Hernia
Besides the weak spot in the abdominal wall, other factors contribute to the development of an abdominal hernia. A combination of weakness and strain are the primary causes.
You can develop a hernia from straining while moving your bowels, especially if you have constipation frequently, having a job where you must constantly lift heavy objects, and strenuous exercise or weight lifting.
Getting older, being pregnant, and being overweight all contribute to a hernia.
Damage from an injury or surgery can cause a hernia, likewise a congenital condition which occurred during development in the womb. If you have a chronic cough like from smoking or have COPD, this can also lead to the development of a hernia.
There are certain factors which increase your chances of developing a hernia like smoking, COPD, and if someone in your family has had a hernia.
A premature birth, cystic fibrosis, getting older and being overweight can make you more susceptible to a hernia.
A hernia will cause a bulge in the location of the hernia. It can grow quickly or develop very slowly.
It can be painful when straining or moving, or it can be painless.
A hernia will never go away on its own.
Some people can have a hernia and never have it repaired. Others develop severe pain and must have it treated.
An untreated hernia can cause life threatening complications.
Michigan Hernia Surgery can evaluate how large your hernia is, how fast it is growing, and recommend either watchful waiting or surgical repair.