If you have a hernia, internal tissue is bulging through weak muscle or connective tissue. This problem can occur for several reasons and in different areas of your body. It can even develop into a medical emergency. So how do you know when it’s a cause for concern?

As senior partner at South Shore Surgical in Valley Stream, New York, Dr. Ira Klonsky plays a pivotal role in treating conditions like hernias. He offers this insight when it comes to hernias and when to seek professional attention.

Hernia basics

Hernia symptoms usually develop in your abdomen or groin as a lump or bulge. You may be able to push the bump back in or find that it disappears when you lie down. Additional signs of a hernia include:

  • Pain while lifting
  • A dull, aching sensation
  • Difficulty swallowing, heartburn, or frequent regurgitation
  • A feeling of fullness or bowel obstruction
  • A bump that returns when coughing, laughing, or straining during a bowel movement

In most cases, hernias develop because of a combination of muscle weakness and strain. They can also occur quickly, slowly over time, or be present from birth.

The most common hernias develop in your groin, upper stomach, or bellybutton.

Hernias in the groin

Some 75-80% of hernias develop in the groin and are either inguinal or femoral.

Inguinal hernia

This hernia develops when intestinal tissue or fat bulges through the lower wall of your stomach through the inguinal canal, often on the right side of the groin. Inguinal hernias are most common in men and can be difficult to differentiate from femoral hernias.

Femoral hernia

Femoral hernias make up an estimated 2-4% of groin hernias and occur more often in women. These types of hernias can be an issue due to their proximity to the femoral artery and vein because they can disrupt blood flow in the leg.

Hernias in the upper stomach

The most common hernia in the upper portion of your abdomen is a hiatal hernia. When you have a hiatal hernia, part of your stomach bulges through your diaphragm, which is a muscle separating your abdominal organs from your lungs.

When you have a hiatal hernia, you have higher chances of acid reflux, and there are different types depending on their location.

Hernias in the bellybutton

If you have a bulge near your bellybutton, you could have an umbilical hernia. Approximately 10% of all stomach hernias fall under this category, and your symptoms typically worsen when you cough or strain during a bowel movement.

Umbilical hernias are most common in newborns and women who are obese or have had several children.

Treating hernias

In many cases, the safest course of action for hernias is surgical repair. Whenever possible, Dr. Klonsky relies on minimally invasive, laparoscopic techniques to provide a faster recovery.

Depending on the size, type, and location of your hernia, your procedure could include returning the protruding tissue into a proper position or removing it entirely. Sometimes, Dr. Klonsky also reinforces the area with surgical mesh.

For more information on hernias and treatment, call our office in Valley Stream, New York, at 516-200-1318 or request an appointment online today. You can also send a message to Dr. Klonsky and the team here on the website.

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