To diagnose a hernia, a physical examination is needed. Your physician will feel your abdomen or groin area for a bulge that changes in size when standing, coughing, or straining. In some cases an X-ray, ultrasound or endoscopy may be used to determine the exact location of the hernia.
Infants born with an umbilical hernia on their belly button are likely to heal themselves within a few years. Treatment may be needed for their hernias at some point unless preexisting medical conditions or concerns make surgery unsafe for the patient. It is possible to live with a hernia and monitor any changes in condition, but this should be done under the careful eye of a trained physician. The primary concern for any hernia is that a protruding organ or tissue may become strangulated and cut off the blood supply. This can lead to an infection or the dying off of the strangulated tissue.
The goal of any hernia procedure is to repair the hernia defect, reinforce the abdominal wall, and prevent the abdominal organs from protruding through the abdominal wall in the future. The most common treatment option for a hernia is a laparoscopic procedure to repair the abdominal opening with surgical mesh. The mesh is often a prosthetic material, which serves as a patch over the opening to protect the inner tissues and organs. Laparoscopic surgery utilizes a tiny camera and smaller sized surgical equipment requiring only a few small incisions. This is less damaging to the surrounding tissue than, more invasive open surgery techniques and greatly reduces downtime for the patient.
If a hernia has been repaired multiple times, if the abdominal opening is larger in size, or if there is a catastrophic injury to the abdominal wall, a more advanced procedure such as a complex hernia repair with abdominal wall reconstruction may be required.
If you think you have a hernia, discuss your symptoms with your physician and learn more about your options for treatment, Learn more about hernia repair on Premier Surgical’s website.