If you or someone you care about has a hernia, you probably now have a desire to understand as much as possible about what a hernia is, how it is treated, and how to recover from hernia surgery.
In general, a hernia is simply the development of a weakness in a major muscle wall of the torso, such as the groin or abdomen. The weakness occurs at those natural seams that “sew” the various muscle sections of our bodies together. When a hernia occurs, the weakness allows a gap to form which lets internal tissues and/or organs to “pop out” through that muscle wall.
A hernia can be painful, but it does not have to be. Many types of hernias do not require immediate medical treatment, although if the protruding organs become “strangulated” – whereby the blood and oxygen supply is cut off from the tissue – then the situation should be taken very seriously and will require immediate surgical attention.
Most doctors agree that even non-strangulated hernias require eventual medical attention. Most hernias are corrected through surgery.
What Is An Umbilical Hernia?
There are many types of hernias. One common variety is the umbilical hernia. This type involves a weakness in the abdominal cavity that allows a sac to form in the inner lining of the belly.
This type of hernia is fairly common, and the condition can occur in newborns, children or adults. These hernias are most commonly found in overweight people and in women who have recently been pregnant.
If left untreated, umbilical hernias will often get larger over time. In the case of a baby with an umbilical hernia, crying can cause it to bulge out more due to the pressure that it causes.
Surgical Support for an Umbilical Hernia – 5 Steps to Repair
Umbilical hernias that are left untreated can pose danger to the patient. For example, if the protruding tissue becomes incarcerated (or stuck), it could result in the blood and oxygen supply being cut off to this area (strangulation).
In the case of infants, umbilical hernias are not usually treated with surgery; the hernia usually shrinks and closes on its own by the time the child reaches age 3. However, in the case of adults who umbilical hernia becomes painful, bulging or starts to turn dark blue, surgery is often required.
Here are the 5 major steps that most surgeons take when correcting an umbilical hernia:
1. The procedure starts with general anesthesia:
Of course, as with any major surgery, general anesthesia is administered to the patient. For a small hernia, this could be a spinal or an epidural block. As a result, the patient feels no pain during the surgery.
2. Surgeon makes a surgical cut in belly button:
The surgeon then makes a cut in the belly button. The incision is used as a way to access the hernia itself from the outside.
3. Tissues are pushed back inside the body cavity:
Next, the protruding tissues or organs are pushed back inside of the body. If the surgery is done correctly, the tissues should never protrude through this area again.
4. Strong stitches used to repair the incision area:
The stitches are made to withstand the intense pressure being exerted on the area.
5. Mesh may be laid over weak area:
Finally, a synthetic mesh that will not be rejected by the body is inserted, as well. The mesh helps reinforce the strength of the affected area for the rest of the patient’s life.
If you or someone you know has gone through umbilical hernia surgery, your next step is to learn how to take care so as to speed along the recovery process.