Hernia is a swelling or protrusion of abdominal contents such as intera abdominal fat or intestines through a weak area or defect in the abdominal wall.
The commonest sites of hernia are groin area/inguinal hernia, femoral hernia, umbilical hernia and incisional hernia.
Incisional hernia protrudes through the scar of previous surgery.

Causes of hernia:
Anything which increases intera abdominal pressure causes the abdominal contents to bulge out through the weak parts or defects. So activities such as weight lifting, coughing, straining at micturation or defecation cause the hernia to develop.

Investigation to know that you have a hernia :
Hernia is essentially a clinical diagnosis which includes a bulge at the hernia site on increasing intera abdominal pressure.
Sometimes you need an ultrasound to support the diagnosis. In very few complicated incisional hernias one needs to do CT scan of abdomen.

Why do you need surgery for hernia, are there no medicines for hernia? What are the complications/risks if one doesn’t opt for surgery? :
Hernia is a purely surgically treatable disease, there are no medicines to cure a hernia. Moreover it can result in a life threatening situation if a hernia gets obstructed through the defect, the contents such as intestines can become black due to lack of blood supply. This situation warrants a bigger surgery and removal of affected intestine or hernial contents. So its recommended that whenever you are diagnosed with a hernia you should get operated for the same as early possible.

Treatment of hernia :
Treatment of hernia is almost always an operation.
This operation/surgery includes dealing with the hernia sac contents, closure of the defect and reinforcement of the defect with a mesh.
The surgery can be done in conventional manner or laparoscopic or robotic way.
The complexity and results of surgery depends on the complexity of the hernia.

Aftercare for the hernia surgery :
Though the period of rest after surgery depends on the type of hernia and method of operation, in all hernias common post operative precautions are not to increase intera abdominal pressure for at least 1 year. To avoid that one needs to avoid the above mentioned causes of increasing intera abdominal pressure such as weight lifting and straining.
In addition to this one needs to wear particular belts in particular type of surgery as recommended. For example scrotal support for 6 weeks in case of inguinal hernia surgery. Abdominal belt for 6 months in case of umbilical or incisional hernia surgery.

Can hernia recur?
Recurrence of hernia is common if precautions are not taken. It’s less in inguinal hernia but more in incisional or ventral hernias.

Though these are the common instructions and baseline information about hernias, your healthcare professional will help you through your journey of the surgery and its understanding.

You may contact the helpline for more information on this topic.
Thank you and hope I could resolve your basic queries about hernia surgery.

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