Hernia and especially inguinal hernia is a very common and widespread illness that affects many people in our community. The disease mainly affects those who use manual labour and partly explains why this problem is more common in developing countries that developed countries. Many peasants and people who carry heavy loads are likely to suffer from this problem.
This is because the illness comes as a result of mechanical compression of the abdominal contents that try to find their way out through the weakest part of the abdominal wall. Since the weakest part is mainly located in inguinal region, many people tend to suffer from inguinal hernia.
Although many suffer from this problem, the pain that it causes can be excruciating if left untreated. It is a pretty serious disease so more people should be made aware of it and it’s symptoms so they know how to handle it if they or someone from their family starts suffering from hernia. As mentioned before, a large number of people have or have had hernia problems.
Hernia occurs when some muscles weaken and allow a part of the tissue beneath to slip through a small opening created due to the weakness.
Inguinal hernia appears when the muscles of the inguinal canal weaken and the intestine that lies beneath slips through an opening in the inguinal canal.
The first sign that appears is a small lump near the thigh, which is soon followed by pain in that area. A person suffering from inguinal hernia will feel pain in the groin and in the thighs area while coughing or lifting heavy objects.
Muscle weakening occurs as time passes and the body ages, but the origins of this weakness date back at birth where at many people the peritoneum does not fully close.
If you have the muscle weakness then the intestine will pass through the opening if you lift something heavy, or if you suffer from obesity. This also explains why not all people who are involved in mechanical work or lift heavy objects suffer from the hernia.
Sometimes pregnancy may cause the intestine to slip too, in women’s case. In this case, many pregnant women can suffer from inguinal hernia as compared to others who are not pregnant. But important to note is that every one can contract the illness at any age.
Inguinal hernia is not a dangerous disease, and many prefer to delay the surgery and live with their condition, trying to keep away from heavy object lifting.
But this is a misconception, you may delay the surgery but eventually you must fix hernia because in many cases complications appeared when inguinal hernia was left untreated.
These complications can be severe and life-threatening, so try to avoid any problems by doing the hernia surgery. It’s not a painful surgery with long weeks of recovery; the recent surgical technics of its operation have improved its fast recovery. so now it’s not painful at all and one can always recover in a few days, much better than living with the illness.
“If the bulge caused by hernia is quite painful and it’s growing, you must go through surgery as soon as possible because that’s a sign that complications are on the way.” Says Doctor David Hakizimana working at CHUK, surgery department .
Doctor David points out that inguinal hernia is a very common disease that has been treated and dealt with for centuries so there’s no need to be afraid or avoid surgery if you find out that you are suffering from it. As soon as you see a bulge on the groin visit your doctor and listen to his advises about the treatment.
Congenital inguinal hernia or hydrocele is because of the patent processus vaginalis. Processus vaginalis is the tract, which extends from groin to the scrotal sac. After birth, this tract gets fused. If this processus vaginalis remains patent then hernia or hydrocele develops.
If the tract is wide enough to allow the intestines then hernia develops but if the tract is narrow which allow only fluid then hydrocele develops.
In case of hernia, the parents usually notice the bulge limited to the groin or extending into scrotal sac. This swelling comes after straining, crying, jumping, playing & reduces spontaneously or after lying down.
It is not painful. In case of hydrocele, the swelling is limited to the scrotum & it does not reduces.The size remains almost same. The diagnosis is by simply clinical examination and does not require any special test.
The management of hernia and hydrocele differs. In cases of hydrocele, one can wait till one year of age as there is chance of spontaneous regression while in case of hernia, the child needs to be operated as early as possible as there are chances of obstruction.
The best person to treat this type of cases is the surgeons who are specialized in paediatric surgery. The operation can be done as a day care surgery or will require one day hospitalization. It is done under general anesthesia and the child can be fed 4 hours after surgery.