A Brief Guide On Hernia | Types, Causes and Treatment

Oct 30, 2023

Although quite common, hernias are still misunderstood by the majority, and this blog is here to clear all the misconceptions in the air. A hernia is when your abdominal organs peek through weak spots of your muscles that should keep them in place. Among the different kinds of hernias, the inguinal hernia takes the most attention, especially in men. It is the most common of the lot. But did you know that direct inguinal hernias and indirect are different?

Let’s have a look.

Direct vs. Indirect Inguinal Hernias – The Difference

Understanding how and when they form is essential to tell them apart. The indirect inguinal hernia is seen in premature births, while the direct inguinal hernia affects adults.

Here’s how you can distinguish them:

  • A direct inguinal hernia produces a bulge from the posterior wall of the inguinal canal. An indirect inguinal hernia passes through either the inguinal canal or the groin.
  • Defect detection in the case of an indirect inguinal hernia is tricky since it is hidden behind the external muscle fibers. As for direct inguinal hernia, the defect is clearly visible in the abdominal wall.
  • Another key difference is that a direct inguinal hernia does not descend into the scrotum, whereas the indirect version can easily do so.

These distinctions stem from the time they form. An indirect inguinal hernia develops in infancy when the inguinal ring fails to close properly. On the other hand, a direct hernia occurs in adulthood, as the abdominal wall weakens with age.

Management and Treatment

Now we address the burning question: what do you do for an inguinal hernia? Well, surgery is the go-to solution, especially for children. This is because most inguinal hernias eventually present their symptoms, and there are higher risks of complications for children and women. However, male adults with small hernias are not problematic wait until symptoms progress.

How is Inguinal Hernia Repair Surgery Performed?

The primary goal of this surgery is to push back the contents inside the abdominal cavity and close the gap. Surgeons may also reinforce the weakened area with the help of tissues from another part of your body, or they may use a synthetic mesh. Here’s what happens during the surgery.

General anesthesia puts you in a deep sleep for the procedure. This means you won’t feel or remember anything. Regional anesthesia desensitizes the lower half of your body; on the other hand, local anesthesia only numbs the specific area being operated on.

Mostly, hernia repairs are minimally invasive; however, complex cases might require open surgery. Approximately 5% of these are performed as emergencies, but the specific method will depend on your condition.

Types Of Surgeries Performed

  1. Laparoscopic Surgery: Dr. Mustafa H. Alibhai is an expert with extensive training in minimally invasive surgeries. He is a board-certified general surgeon who served as Assistant Professor of Surgery at McGovern Medical School at UT Health in Houston prior to founding Nova Bariatrics. For this surgery, he makes several small incisions in your abdomen through which the laparoscope is inserted with a tiny camera attached. The entire operation is guided by this camera, with repairs through the other incisions using thin instruments.
  2. Robotic Hernia Repair: The process is similar to laparoscopy, but our surgeon controls the tools inside a console in the operating room.
  3. Open Surgery: The traditional method involves a long incision to access the hernia across your pelvis.

Closing Note

Inguinal hernias come in two main types: direct and indirect. The indirect inguinal hernia is seen in premature births, while the direct inguinal hernia affects adults. Surgery is the recommended treatment for most cases, although the approach may vary. Get in touch with professionals from Nova Bariatrics at (469) 639-0953 for more information or queries of any sort. You can also visit us for a physical checkup too.

Dr. Mustafa H. Alibhai

Dr. Alibhai, a board-certified general surgeon, passionately leads Nova Bariatrics and General Surgery. Formerly an Assistant Professor at McGovern Medical School, he’s a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons and the American Society of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgeons. His academic journey includes a Bachelor’s from Southern Methodist University, Medical School at UT Southwestern, and residencies at UT Southwestern. Specializing further, he completed Bariatric and Robotic Fellowships, advancing surgical techniques with a focus on patient well-being.

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