Suffering a hernia can be a different experience for different people. For some hernia sufferers, hernias are rather painful, while for others there is little or no pain involved.
Meanwhile, for some hernia patients, the hernia is present and visible more or less all of the time. In the case of others, it comes and goes throughout the day.
There is a wide range of types of hernias, as well. The condition can crop up almost anywhere in your midsection or groin area.
One common question that hernia sufferers ask is, “Does a hernia make your stomach big?” If you are wondering about this, here are 5 FAQs about hernias that can help:
1. How many types of hernias are there?
A: There are several types of hernias, including inguinal, femoral, umbilical, incisional, and diaphragmatic. The type of hernia you have is characterized by where it shows up in your body.
Some hernias can become strangulated, which means the internal body parts (often part of the intestine) that is protruding through the muscle walls gets its oxygen cut off and becomes at risk of dying. Strangulated hernias require immediate surgery to correct.
2. What are the major symptoms of a hernia?
A: Hernias are usually characterized by a bulge in the body cavity. Such a bulge is often visible from the outside of the body. The bulge is sometimes painful, but not always. Also, in some cases it may come and go throughout the day.
3. What causes the hernia to bulge out?
A: A weakness in the muscle wall – which can be caused by genetics or by an incident such as a sports injury – allows part of the bodily organs to push through. The internal organs are under a certain amount of pressure, so without strong abdominal or groin muscles to keep them in, they can be susceptible to bulging out.
4. Does a hernia make your stomach big?
A: In most cases, a hernia will be visible on the outside of your body. In that sense, certain types of hernia could be said to make your stomach bigger. Still, in almost all cases the bulge will be visible in one area of your stomach (for certain types of hernias) in a particular spot, rather than generally making your stomach appear bigger overall.
5. What is the best form of treatment for a hernia?
A: For some mild forms of hernias, your doctor may take a wait-and-see approach. However, in most cases eventually surgery will need to be performed in order to correct the situation. The surgery involves a surgeon making an incision near the affected area. The protruding tissues are pushed back inside the body cavity, then a synthetic mesh is placed over the weak spot in the muscle wall. This mesh greatly reduces the chances of a recurrence of the hernia.
If you suspect you may be suffering from a hernia, it is best to contact your doctor right away to get it checked out. Whether your doctor recommends immediate surgery or whether you are asked to come back periodically to have it monitored, this is a medical problem that needs to be taken seriously.