For Hernias, Size Matters!


ORLANDO, Fla. (Ivanhoe Newswire) — There are over one million hernia surgeries every year in the U.S. alone. Eight hundred thousand of those are to treat the most common type – an inguinal hernia. They affect all ages, races, and genders. Learn symptoms to watch out for.

Does laughing, coughing, or lifting weights cause a pain in your groin area? You might have a hernia.

Donald Dilworth, MD, FACS, Medical Director, Baptist Health System Hernia Center, San Antonio says, “Now, we have some natural breaks in the abdominal wall that have to occur. But when something else that’s not supposed to go through there goes through that area, that’s what creates a hernia.”

A hernia creates a bulge in the groin wall. There are six types but the most common is an inguinal hernia and it mainly occurs in men.

Dr. Dilworth continued, “We have some hernias that have spleens in them, livers in them, things like that. Typically, it’s either intestines or fat.”

Hernia’s not only occur in adults. The inguinal wall in a baby closes shortly after birth. But if it doesn’t fully close, a hernia might develop but not show up until the child grows up. The only option to fix the hernia is surgery, but …

“There is a remote risk for mesh infection,” said Dr. Dilworth.

You cannot prevent an inguinal hernia in a child, but for adults try to keep your weight down, don’t strain while using the bathroom, exercise regularly to strengthen your abdomen, and avoid lifting heavy objects. And bigger hernias are less dangerous than small ones.

“The smaller they are the more risk they might be for getting intestines stuck in them,” stated Dr. Dilworth.

For hernias, size matters!

Nearly one in four men will get a hernia in their lifetime. Also, up to ten percent of premature babies could be affected by a hernia. And for moms, pregnancy could increase your risk for a hernia as being pregnant can weaken the muscles in the abdomen and cause increased pressure inside.

Contributors to this news report include: Keon Broadnax, Field Producer; and Roque Correa, Editor.


REPORT #2701

BACKGROUND: A hernia happens when part of an internal organ or tissue bulges through an area of muscle. Most hernias are in the abdomen. There are several types of hernias, including inguinal, in the groin (this is the most common type); umbilical, around the belly button; incisional, through a scar; hiatal, a small opening in the diaphragm that allows the upper part of the stomach to move up into the chest; and congenital diaphragmatic, a birth defect that needs surgery. Hernias can affect men, women, and children. A combination of muscle weakness and straining, such as with heavy lifting, might contribute. Some people are born with weak abdominal muscles and may be more likely to get a hernia. Treatment is usually surgery to repair the opening in the muscle wall. Untreated hernias can cause pain and health problems.


SYMPTOMS AND PREVENTION: Symptoms of a hernia include pain or discomfort and a localized swelling somewhere on the surface of the abdomen or in the groin area. A hernia can also be painless and only appear as bulging. The pain may be intermittent or constant and the swelling may decrease or be absent, depending on the amount of pressure in the abdomen. Constant, intense pain at a bulge site may indicate a medical emergency and needs to be evaluated immediately. Most of the factors that lead to the development of hernias are beyond the control of the individual. Some of those factors are inherited and develop as the individual grows. The arrangement of the local tissues and their thickness and strength may greatly affect the relative risk of developing a hernia over a lifetime. However, that risk can be increased by failure to use good body mechanics when lifting, poor abdominal support posture, smoking and weight-control problems.


NEW FLEXIBLE PATCH TO TREAT HERNIAS: Instead of using a synthetic mesh to treat hernias, a flexible patch may revolutionize soft tissue reconstruction procedures, especially in hernia treatments. The new method, proposed by Professor Mirosława El Fray from the West Pomeranian University of Technology in Szczecin, uses injectable material, which takes the form of a flexible patch under the influence of UV light. Over time, it overgrows with soft tissue to eventually biodegrade in the body. This technique, called PhotoBioCur, may prove to be a breakthrough in the treatment of hernia. “The semi-liquid form of the biomaterial carries a number of benefits associated with the effectiveness of the procedure: it shortens the time of the procedure, it is safer and more comfortable for the patient, it positively affects the course and duration of convalescence” El Fray adds. The patch has already been patented in the United States and in Poland, and it is patent pending in Europe. It is expected that in addition to the abdominal wall regeneration, it can be also used in the surgical treatment of abdominal aortic aneurysm, plastic surgery and hand orthopedics.


* For More Information, Contact:

Natalie Gutierrez, Public Relations

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