A hernia is what happens when part of an internal organ or fatty tissue protrudes through the muscle or tissue that usually contains it. In most cases, hernias happen due to a strained or weakened muscle that starts to tear. Symptoms of a hernia can be mistaken for other things but M.D. Express Urgent Care is able to diagnose a hernia and provide the proper guidance for your next steps.
Types of Hernia
Hernias can occur almost anywhere, but they happen most often in the abdominal area, above the hips and below the chest. Specific types include:
- Inguinal hernia: This is the most common type of hernia, especially among men, and results from a weak spot in the abdominal muscles near the groin. Fatty tissue or part of the intestine protrude through the muscle. Signs of an inguinal hernia include a visible bulge on either side of the pubic bone, a burning sensation at the site of the bulge, and pain in the groin area, especially when bending over or coughing.
- Umbilical hernia: This type occurs around the belly button or navel. As with inguinal hernias, fatty tissue or part of the intestine protrude through a weak spot in the abdominal muscles.
- Incisional hernia: An incisional hernia involves a weak spot due to a surgical incision. If a hernia occurs there, internal tissues may protrude through the site of the incision.
- Hiatal hernia: This hernia happens when a weakness in the diaphragm muscle causes part of the stomach to push up into the chest cavity. It’s usually caused by an increase in pressure in the abdomen from coughing, vomiting, heavy lifting, or excessive strain during a bowel movement.
- Femoral hernia: Common in older women, femoral hernias occur when part of the intestine or some fatty tissue protrudes into the groin at the top of the inner thigh, near the head of the femur.
For the most part, hernias share symptoms in common, no matter where they’re located. Typical symptoms include:
- A visible lump or bulge on the outside of the body that can be pushed back in or that disappears when lying down
- Pain or a burning sensation at the site
- Pain when lifting heavy items
- A feeling of weakness or pressure in the affected area
Hiatal hernias may also cause symptoms such as shortness of breath, acid reflux, and difficulty swallowing.
Diagnosis and Treatment
Hernias won’t go away if you ignore them. In fact, they’ll get worse over time. If you suspect you have a hernia, it’s a good idea to seek out M.D. Express Urgent Care for an immediate diagnosis and treatment plan. You’ll need either open surgery or less-invasive laparoscopic surgery to treat and resolve the hernia.
In some cases, hernias can develop serious complications. A strangulated hernia happens when enough of the tissue or internal organ is trapped outside the abdominal muscle that its blood supply is cut off. The visible bulge of the hernia will become firm to the touch. If you suspect a strangulated hernia, rush to the ER for immediate treatment to prevent tissue death.
M.D. Express Urgent Care is open 7 days a week with 6 convenient locations to help you with your medical needs. Walk-in anytime because at M.D. Express, the doctor is always in!