June is Hernia Awareness Month and so we’ve compiled a list of our editorials which discuss hiatal hernia, abdominal hernia, inguinal hernia, abdominal wall hernia and the use of mosquito nets to repair hernias.
A hernia is when an organ protrudes into a weak spot in the surrounding muscle and connective tissue. Hernias are quite painful and often require surgery to repair them. Risk factors for hernias include age, chronic coughing or sneezing, failure of abdominal wall closing properly in the womb, damage caused by surgery or injury, heavy lifting, diarrhea or constipation, pregnancy, sudden weight gain, and fluid in the abdomen.
We hope the below articles help keep you informed about hernias and offer you useful tips to prevent them.
A hiatal hernia can be uncomfortable at the best of times, but when food enters into the equation, it can make the situation even worse, so a hiatal hernia diet is often recommended to sufferers.
A hiatal hernia or, as some refer to it, hiatus hernia, takes place when part of the stomach pushes upward through the diaphragm. Under normal conditions, our diaphragm has a small opening called the hiatus through which our food tube, the esophagus, passes on its way to our stomach. When the stomach pushes up through this opening, that’s a hiatal hernia. It becomes uncomfortable when a large hernia allows food to back up in the esophagus. This leads to ongoing heartburn.
Diet for hiatal hernia sufferers includes certain precautions, such as not drinking water with meals. It is best to consume water an hour before or an hour after eating, because this helps the digestive system and significantly reduces the chances of heartburn occurring. Another step that seems to help those who suffer from hiatal hernia is to take frequent small meals, as opposed to three large meals per day. Thorough chewing of food seems to be helpful as well.
A typical hiatal hernia diet should include seeds, nuts, and whole grains. About 50 percent of the diet can be fresh fruits, as well as raw or lightly cooked vegetables. Overprocessed foods should be avoided. Continue reading…
Inguinal hernia repair is made affordable with sterilized mosquito nets replacing costly surgical meshes. Sterilized mosquito netting could help repair inguinal (groin) hernias in nearly 200 million low-income individuals who suffer by not treating the hernia.
An inguinal hernia is when there is a hole in the abdominal wall around the groin allowing for organs, fat and intestines to be pushed through and protrude. Surgery is the only effective mode of treatment for inguinal hernias, but for those low-income individuals, the cost of the procedure may deter them from seeking out the surgery, and thus continuing to live with pain and suffer complications of an untreated hernia.
Dr. Jenny Löfgren, researcher at Umeå University’s Department of Surgical and Perioperative Sciences said, “Commercial hernia meshes cost 100 dollars or more, which is too much for the health services and people living in poor countries. So instead, doctors and surgeons in several countries have been using mosquito nets, but whether they are effective and safe hasn’t been given sufficient study until now.”
Researchers conducted a large randomized clinical trial to evaluate the effectiveness of mosquito nets in order to repair inguinal hernias. The study involved over 300 participants from Uganda, all males, who received either a surgical mesh or sterilized mosquito netting to repair an inguinal hernia. The participants were followed for up to a year.
The researchers found no significant differences between either group, and complications that occurred were mild in both groups. Overall, the sterilized mosquito nets proved to be an effective form of treatment for repairing an inguinal hernia.
Project leader, Dr. Andreas Wladis added, “These results are of great potential benefit to the many millions of people who lack access to good surgical care for their hernias. The next step will be to motivate greater resource allocation to treat hernia patients and plan for how mosquito nets could be used for hernia surgery on a larger scale. Continue reading…
Abdominal hernia repair recovery has been found to take longer than expected, especially in women. The findings from the Mayo Clinic suggest that patients should be able to quickly return to their normal activities following an abdominal hernia repair, but many patients still experience pain and fatigue up to several days after the surgery. Furthermore, individuals under the age of 60 and women were found to have longer recoveries.
Senior author Juliane Bingener-Casey said, “Physicians may need to work with patients to set more realistic expectations about recovery and help them better cope with pain and fatigue after the procedure. It may be that people expect, when they’ve seen their neighbors after laparoscopic gall bladder surgery and they’re back taking a walk the next day that they’ll be able to do the same thing with laparoscopic ventral hernia repair. They will probably find out that it takes several days before they start moving the way they usually do.”
Laparoscopic ventral hernia repair is performed when a gap forms in-between the muscles in the abdomen. It is the most common form of surgery for an abdominal surgery with 90,000 ventral hernia repairs occurring annually in the U.S. alone.
The researchers looked at 18 patients up to one week after their surgery, which is considered the worst part of the recovery. Dr. Bingener-Casey explained, “It’s worse than expected for the patients probably. So I think it’s important for patients to have a realistic expectation, so they’re not surprised and disappointed. For the surgeons, it’s important to look at what we can do to improve recovery. Is it the pain control, is there other help we can provide to get through the pain or through the fatigue for the time after surgery?” Continue reading…
Abdominal wall hernias, also known as stomach hernias, can result from an abdominal organ pushing its way through a tear in the muscles of the abdomen. It is a fairly common condition, and as many as 10 percent of people can develop a hernia in their lifetime and more than 500,000 hernia operations occur yearly in the U.S. It is actually the most common procedure in the U.S. and can be easily performed using laparoscopy.
A hernia can be painful and result in a lump – or outpouching – that sticks up from your abdomen, or it can be smaller, soft and without pain. The lump is caused by the organ that has pushed its way through a weak or thin spot in the abdomen – the bowel, the intestine, the bladder or even fatty tissues. People often attempt to push the hernia back in, unfortunately it only ends up recurring at a later date. If proper treatment is not pursued, the hernia can lose its blood supply and become strangulated, thus resulting in a medical emergency.
You may already know someone who had a hernia, or have experienced one yourself. They can be quite painful if pressure to the abdomen increases from coughing or lifting, which can actually be the cause of the hernia as well. If you find a lump in your abdomen (or anywhere on your body) you should always consult your physician. Continue reading…
Hiatal hernia, a type of abdominal wall hernia, is a condition in which the stomach lining pushes through the chest. The hiatus is the opening of the diaphragm, which separates the chest cavity and the abdomen. There are two main types of hiatal hernias: sliding and paraesophageal. In a sliding hiatal hernia, the stomach slides up to the chest – this is the most common kind. A paraesophageal hiatal hernia is less common and it is when a part of the stomach pushes through the hiatus, ending up in the esophagus. Paraesophageal hernia can be symptomless, but there is a raised risk that the stomach can become strangled and end up with its blood supply cut off.
A common symptom of hiatal hernia is heartburn associated with the gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).
Often, the cause of hiatal hernia is unknown. Some individuals may have a larger hiatal opening from birth. Furthermore, added pressure on the abdomen – seen in pregnancy, coughing, obesity, or straining during bowel movements – can also contribute to hiatal hernia.
Hiatal hernia is most commonly seen in overweight individuals and those over the age of 50. Continue reading…