If you feel that you have an inguinal hernia and are not sure what to do about it, it would be in your best interest to consult a specialist. Although inguinal hernias are not usually life-threatening, they could lead to various complications – and these complications are life-threatening. It is best to have it removed if it is becoming larger or starting to get more painful, and the procedure itself is a pretty standard procedure that can involve either open or laparoscopic surgery. But if you want to know more about the condition and what you can do about it, here’s what you should know about the symptoms of inguinal hernia and your options for treatment.
What it is and why it occurs
Inguinal hernias can develop when there are weak spots in the body’s abdominal muscles, and it occurs when a portion of tissue (such as those from the intestine) starts to protrude.
There are various symptoms associated with inguinal hernias, but these symptoms often include a noticeable bulge on the area around the pubic bone, especially on either side. This bulge becomes even more noticeable when someone is upright, particularly if they strain or cough. Another symptom is an aching or burning sensation in the bulging area, and it can also come with discomfort or pain at the groin, particularly when you bend over, lift, or cough. Inguinal hernias can cause a dragging or heavy sensation on the groin, along with pressure and weakness. Sometimes, there is swelling and pain around a person’s testicles as well, especially when the protruding tissue descends to the scrotum.
What to watch out for
If you cannot push the inguinal hernia inside, its contents may become trapped in your abdominal wall. When a hernia becomes incarcerated, it can also be strangulated, and this will cut off the flow of blood to the trapped tissue. When a hernia is strangulated, it can be dangerous if not properly treated. There are various signs associated with strangulated hernias, including nausea/vomiting, fever, a sudden and intense pain that quickly becomes worse, and a bulge that turns darker, purple, or red. If you cannot pass gas or move your bowels, this could be a sign of a strangulated hernia as well, as confirmed by hernia surgery London specialists from The London Surgical Group.
Your treatment options
If the inguinal hernia is still small and does not cause pain or discomfort, your specialist may simply recommend keeping an eye on it. You may rely on a truss to support the hernia and relieve the symptoms, although it’s important to confirm this with your doctor prior to wearing a truss because it should fit well. If the hernia is becoming larger or more painful, this would be best treated with surgery – not just to relieve your discomfort but also to prevent major complications.
Depending on your condition, you may have either open surgery or laparoscopic surgery, as the same experts in inguinal hernia surgery in London will attest. Open repair comes with either local or general anaesthesia and the surgeon will cut into the groin to push the tissue or intestine back into the patient’s abdomen. Laparoscopic surgery is less invasive as it involves a series of smaller cuts with the use of a laparoscope, and the surgeon repairs the inguinal hernia with help from tiny medical instruments.