In Latin the word Hernia means “a rupture”. When tissue protrudes through a structure, or a part of an organ through the muscle tissue or the membrane, that is a hernia. There are three parts to a hernia – the orifice, the hernia sac, and the hernia’s contents. The most common place for hernias to occur in humans is the abdomen. A part of the abdominal wall is weak and allows a localized hole to develop – this hole is also known as a defect. Tissue, or abdominal organs may stick out through this hole. A hernia that involves the spinal discs commonly causes sciatica (pain in the lower back, the pain can radiate down one or both legs)
What Is Hernia?
It is the protrusion (bulge) of abdominal viscera through a weakened part of abdominal wall. A hernia does not get better over time, nor will it go away by itself (except very small congenital navel hernia). It always becomes bigger with time.
What Are The Common Types?
The common types of hernias are present in the groin (inguinal), belly button (umbilical) and the site of a previous operation (incisional). There are many more types but are rare.
What Are Its Symptoms? How Can It Be Detected?
Hernia is easy to recognize. It appears as a bulge under the skin. This bulge may appear on standing or straining and disappear on lying down. It may or may not be painful. Discomfort may worsen at the end of the day and also while coughing and sneezing..
What Is The Treatment For Hernia?
Surgery is the only cure for majority of hernias. There is no medical treatment for it.
When Should Hernia Be Treated?
Once detected, for best results, the hernia should be treated as early as possible. Also, early operation will prevent complications like obstruction and strangulation. When compared with large hernias, the surgical results with smaller hernias are much more satisfying.
What Is Strangulation Of Hernia?
Strangulation of hernia is a surgical emergency. The hernia becomes very painful, does not reduce and the overlying skin becomes red. The patient will require hospitalization and immediate surgery.
Is It Necessary To Use The Mesh In All The Cases?
Yes. Now world over, there is consensus that the use of mesh is desirable in majority of patients to stengthen the wall whether surgery is done conventionally or endoscopically. Only the childhood hernias are repaired without using mesh.
What Happens After Admission For Surgery?
Patients are admitted in the hospital on the day of surgery or a day prior to surgery. On admission, patients are examined and investigations reviewed by one of the team members. A member of the Anaesthesia Team conducts the pre-anaesthetic check-up. Pre-operative investigations are performed if needed. Patients need to be fasting overnight before the surgery. Next morning, he/she will be shifted to the operation theatre half an hour prior to surgery. After surgery, they are shifted to the recovery room for 2-4 hours under the care and supervision of our Anaesthesia Team for observation and then shifted back to the room. It takes about 4-8 hours before the patient comes back to his / her room.
Patient is given sips of water orally on returning to the room and progresses to drinking all liquids on the same evening as surgery. They may sit up, visit the toilet and move around for a few hours after surgery and are encouraged to do so early.
Patients are given a normal breakfast next morning and discharged from hospital after a visit by one of the team members. On discharge, a discharge summary with the advised medication is handed over to the patient.
Can The Surgery Be Performed As A Day Care Procedure?
Yes, day care surgery is being performed on young and fit patients. The patient is called to the operation theatre in the morning in a fasting state of more than 8 hours. After the operation, patient is observed for 4-6 hours post operatively in the day care facility before getting discharged. In case the need arises. there is a provision for overnight admission as well.