It is hernias that develop in the groin area. Inguinal hernia accounts for 75% of all hernias and is 25 times more common in men than in women.
There are three types called direct, indirect and femoral. In general, all three types are similar, but the indirect one can be seen at any age and has the potential to go all the way down to the testicle bag.
Direct inguinal hernia is usually seen in middle and advanced age where the abdominal wall is weakened. Femoral hernia is more rare than other types.
The same surgery is performed in the treatment of all three types.
Although inguinal hernia usually appears to be harmless, your doctor will usually recommend surgery after you have examined it. Because the compression of the hernia and the complications that may develop afterwards can be daunting and even life-threatening.
What are the symptoms of inguinal hernia?
Some inguinal hernias do not cause any complaints. Sometimes you may not realize that you have a hernia until it is detected during a doctor’s examination.
Often there is a swelling in the groin area. This swelling is more obvious when standing, pushing or coughing.
When lying on your back, the swelling usually disappears. There may sometimes be burning on bloating, a feeling of air pressing down and pain. The feeling of pressure in the groin area can be pity and burning when lifting a heavy object.
In fewer cases, there may be swelling in the scrotum due to the hernia landing in the scrotum.
What is a stuck inguinal hernia?
Most of the time the hernia bulge flattens when you lie on your back. This flattening occurs as a result of the return of the omentum or small intestine, which enters the hernia sac, back into the abdomen. These organs cannot return to the abdomen and if they remain in the hernia sac it is called a stuck hernia.
This condition is often painful. This is called a strangulated hernia, which is the next stage if the blood supply to the organs in the trapped area is cut off as a result of compression. Strangular hernias unfortunately require emergency surgery and can result in life-threatening complications.
What are the symptoms of a stuck inguinal hernia?
- Nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite
- Inability to perform gas and great ablutions
- Feeling abdominal bloating and gas pain
- High temperature
- Increased pulse
- Rapidly exacerbating abdominal and groin pain
- Bruising or flushing may occur in the color of hernia swelling.
What are the causes of inguinal hernia?
In some cases, there may not be a detectable cause. But the following can be counted among the causes of hernia:
- Increased intra-abdominal pressure
- Pre-existing weak spots in the abdominal wall
- Large ablutions or straining when urinating (prostate enlargement and chronic constipation)
- Heavy lifting
- A build-up of fluid in the abdomen (acid fluid may accumulate in liver diseases or heart failure))
- Excess weight
- Chronic coughs and sneezes
Why are inguinal hernia more common in men?
Men have a congenital weakness in the pubic canal. In male infants, the testicles form in the abdomen and then descend through the inguinal canal into the testicle bag. The canal closes shortly after birth.
Sometimes this channel can’t close properly, where a weak point is formed. For this reason, inguinal hernia is more common in men.
What are the risk factors for inguinal hernia formation?
- Some diseases (chronic lung diseases, COPD, prostate diseases, cirrhosis)
- Family history (if your next of kin have a hernia story, you are more likely to have it than normal society)
- Chronic cough (smoking))
- Chronic constipation
- Excess weight (increases your intra-abdominal pressure)
- Pregnancy (weakens your abdominal muscles and increases intra-abdominal pressure)
- Some occupations (occupations with long standing and heavy physical working conditions and requiring heavy lifting)
- Being born premature
- Having previously suffered a hernia from the opposite side
What are the feared complications of inguinal hernia?
The hernia grows over time and the testicular sack descends correctly
Compression of the hernia (can cause congested bowel obstruction)
Strangulation of the hernia (the bleeding of the trapped intestine is disrupted and gangrenous, and can develop into a life-threatening complication.
How is inguinal hernia diagnosed?
Usually only a hernia is diagnosed as a result of examination. Sometimes very small hernias can be diagnosed with ultrasonography.