A hernia occurs when an organ or tissue pushes through an opening in the muscle or tissue that normally holds it in place. It can happen anywhere in the body but most often occurs in the abdominal or groin areas.
The most common symptom of a hernia is a bulge or lump in the affected area, which may or may not be painful. Other symptoms can include:
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, schedule an appointment with a primary care provider today.
You should worry about hernia pain if it is severe, sudden, or accompanied by nausea, vomiting, fever, or difficulty passing stool or gas. These symptoms may indicate that the hernia has become trapped or incarcerated. Additionally, if you have a hernia and experience any changes in size or shape of the bulge, or if the hernia becomes more painful or swollen, it is important to see a digestive health specialist to rule out any complications.
The risk factors for hernias include:
A physician will usually diagnose hernias with a physical examination, but imaging tests such as ultrasound or CT scan may be needed to confirm the diagnosis and determine the extent of the hernia.
The treatment for hernias depends on the type and severity of the hernia. In some cases, watchful waiting may be recommended, especially for small hernias that are not causing symptoms. However, in most cases, surgery is needed to repair the hernia. Surgery may be done as an open procedure or laparoscopically, depending on the type of hernia and the surgeon's preference. Recovery time varies depending on the type of surgery, but most people are able to return to normal activities within a few weeks.
Our experienced, board-certified gastroenterologists serve patients throughout the Greater Houston area. No matter where you live or which location you choose, you can trust that we will provide the same patient-centered standards of quality care to everyone.
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