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Hernia is one of the most commonly occurring medical problems in the world. Some hernias are dangerous and life-threatening such as herniation of spinal discs and brain. Such hernias are treated urgently. Some of the people I know have a hernia, but they have not gone through surgery to get them removed. They did, however, consult their respective doctors and get their opinion if it would be okay to live with a hernia. You will notice there are certain questions doctors ask to diagnose a hernia. There are 7 common questions asked to diagnose hernia and the reasons mentioned below.
What is a Hernia?
A hernia is a result of an organ pushing through a weakened area in the surrounding tissues. There are many types of hernia, some of them occurring more commonly than the rest. Some types of hernia are completely harmless with no symptoms or pain, whereas some hernias may lead to life-threatening conditions. Hernias do not go away on their own. Certain surgeries are available to remove them from the body.
There are certain causes of hernia you should know of. Only then can you visit a general practitioner, surgeon or a vascular surgeon to have it diagnosed. The doctor will perform any needed tests or physical examination. After that, he can inform you about the severity of your hernia and if surgery is a recommended option for you, or if it is absolutely necessary in your case.
Types of Hernia
First of all, there are many different types of hernia as mentioned above. Some of these are:
- Inguinal Hernia
- Femoral Hernia
- Umbilical Hernia
- Incisional Hernia
- Diaphragmatic Hernia
- Other hernias
An inguinal hernia is the type of hernia in which the organ that protrudes through the weakened tissues in the intestine or bladder.
An incisional hernia is the protrusion of the intestine through the stomach wall after having undergone surgeries involving the abdomen. People who have undergone surgery and are inactive after the surgery, as well as the elderly, are at an increased risk of incisional hernia.
A femoral hernia occurs due to the entrance of the intestines into the canal carrying the femoral artery.
Umbilical hernias are the type of hernia that is more commonly found in newborn babies, obese women or mothers who have given birth to many babies.
A diaphragmatic hernia is a hernia in which the upper stomach squeezes through the opening in the diaphragm.
Causes and Risk Factors of Hernia:
A hernia is caused by general muscle strain and weakness. Some of the common causes of hernia are:
- Damage or bruise due to surgery or injury
- Chronic lung disease or coughing
- A congenital condition in which the hernia is present since birth
- Incorrect posture
- Improper heavy weight lifting
- Blunt trauma to the abdomen
- Premature birth
- Family history of hernias
7 Common Questions Asked to Diagnose Hernia and the Reasons
When was the first time you noticed the bulge?
There is a very good reason for asking this question. Since hernia is a result of abnormal growth and protrusion of an organ through tissue, it normally appears as a bulge or swollen area, especially in the abdomen area and the groin. Doctors can use the answer to get an idea about the extent of hernia and what the next steps should be.
Did you have any other symptoms?
If the hernia is just recently formed, then it can cause pain in the affected area, discomfort while coughing or urinating and trouble when you are swallowing. Often hernias don’t even show symptoms. Therefore, they can mostly only be found through a routine physical or a routine medical exam.
When the hernia is left untreated, there is a possibility that it will get worse and lead to other complications such as inflammation of the area, bowel obstruction, haemorrhage, autoimmune problems, strangulation and twisting of intestines and other vessels that can lead to restriction of blood supply and nutrients to an organ.
Do you suspect anything you might have done, eaten or something that happened which caused it?
It helps narrow down the causes of hernia and therefore the next course of actions that must be taken. The doctor will ask you if you have any suspicions about having done something to cause it, or if the cause is unknown in which case he will prescribe a bunch of tests and physical examination to determine it.
What is your lifestyle like?
The reason for asking this question is to know if maybe heavy weight lifting, smoking, drinking, domestic violence, blunt force to the abdomen caused it. It helps determine if the cause of hernia is congenital or as a result of muscle strain and weakness.
Are there people in your family that have a hernia?
There is a genetic factor involved in the formation of hernia. Therefore, if a doctor knows that there is a history of hernia in your family, then it will help him diagnose and prescribe treatment for it better.
Did you have any surgery?
One of the major causes of hernia is lack of care after surgery. The wound might also be infected after surgery, there might be inflammation, an injury that worsened the already weakened tissues and caused a hernia. In certain cases, hernia forms in patients after surgery due to inactivity.
Are you diagnosed with any other medical disease?
Several other medical diseases can have a hernia as an underlying cause. It can also be the other way around where other medical diseases might have caused a hernia. For instance, take chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder, cystic fibrosis.
Image by Obsessive Potato.