Hernia may be a foreign term to some Filipinos. However, in Tagalog, hernia translates to “luslos.” Hernia occurs when an organ pushes through an opening in the muscle or tissue that holds it in place. It is a common problem and often causes a localized bulge, usually around the abdomen or groin.

Although most hernias are not immediately life-threatening, it may cause great discomfort or pain. Hernias do not go away on their own. They usually require surgery to prevent potentially dangerous complications. However, despite how common they are, very few people are aware of the different types of hernia. Here is a list so that you can learn more about it:

Inguinal Hernia

Inguinal hernia is the most common type. It occurs when tissue, such as part of the intestine, protrudes through a weak spot in the abdominal muscles. This causes a painful bulge which becomes even more painful when you cough, lift heavy objects, or bend over.

Although not necessarily dangerous, it does not go away on its own. You should be able to gently push the hernia back into your abdomen when you're lying down. If this does not prove effective however, applying an ice pack to the area may reduce the swelling enough so that the hernia slides in easier. Lying with your pelvis higher than your head also may help.

To get rid of it painful or enlarged inguinal hernia, your doctor will most likely recommend surgery.

Hiatal Hernia

A hiatal hernia occurs when the upper part of your stomach bulges through the large muscle separating your abdomen and chest (diaphragm). Your diaphragm has a small opening (hiatus) through which your food tube (esophagus) passes before connecting to your stomach.

Although a small hiatal hernia may not cause too much problems, an enlarged one can allow food and acid to go back up into your esophagus, leading to heartburn. Hiatal hernia may not show an apparent bulge like that of an inguinal hernia but, left untreated, it can be quite dangerous.

Umbilical Hernia

An umbilical hernia is an abnormal bulge that can be seen or felt at the umbilicus (belly button). This hernia develops when a portion of the lining of the abdomen, part of the intestine, and/or fluid from the abdomen, comes through the muscle of the abdominal wall. Umbilical hernias are common, occurring in 10% - 20 % of all children.

As the fetus develops during pregnancy, there is a small opening in the abdominal muscles that allows the umbilical cord to pass through, connecting the mother to her baby. As the baby grows after birth, this opening in the abdominal muscles closes.

Sometimes, however, these muscles do not meet and grow together completely, and a small opening remains. This opening is called an umbilical hernia. Many umbilical hernias close spontaneously by ages 3 to 4. If closure does not occur by this time, surgical repair is usually advised.

Incisional Hernia

An incisional hernia occurs through a previously made incision in the abdominal wall, which is a scar left from a previous surgical operation. During an operation, the surgeon has to close the layers of the abdominal wall with stitches. Sometimes however, this closure simply comes apart with time or fails to heal properly.

This kind of hernia is remarkably common. It is estimated that at least 12-15% of abdominal operations lead to an incisional hernia. It is best to have incisional hernias repaired using mesh. This is because leaving it as is will only cause it to enlarge and become more and more unsightly and uncomfortable.

The different types of hernia described all have different signs and symptoms. So make sure to have any uncommon aches or pains checked by your doctor. And with SeeYouDoc, your life is now made easier!

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References: HealthLine