Hernias can be seen on ultrasound, but they’re usually small. Ultrasounds are a common test that your doctor may order if there are signs of a hernia on the outside.
A hernia can appear as a bulge or an abnormal space in your belly, groin, or pelvis. It’s usually caused by a weak spot in your abdominal muscles.
Ultrasound is a painless, noninvasive diagnostic tool that uses high-frequency sound waves to produce images of internal tissues and organs on a computer screen.
Ultrasounds are the most common way to check for hernias.
A hernia is a weakness in the abdominal wall. It can cause a bulge or a hole in the abdominal wall. Hernias are most commonly found in the:
It’s not common for women to have hernias, but they’re more common in people who have a weakened muscle in their pelvis.
How is a hernia treated?
A surgical hernia repair is done when a hernia is large enough to cause pain or other complications.
Here’s what to expect during a surgical hernia repair:
- A surgeon will make an incision in your belly, pelvis, or groin to expose the hernia.
- They’ll remove any excess tissue around the hernia and repair the abdominal wall.
- They may use mesh material to keep the tissues in place.
- They’ll close the incision with stitches.
Surgical mesh is often used in a hernia repair because it’s stronger than normal tissue. It also provides support to the abdominal wall.
A hernia repair is done in a hospital or surgery center.
Recovering from a hernia repair
After surgery, it’s important to keep the abdominal incision dry and covered. You should also:
- Rest and avoid lifting heavy weights.
- Get plenty of rest.
- Avoid bending or lifting anything heavy.
- Drink plenty of fluids.
- Take pain relievers as prescribed.
- Get out of bed after surgery and walk around the block.
Your doctor will give you specific instructions on recovering from a hernia repair. You’ll be able to go home the same day as surgery.
What’s the long-term outlook?
There are many types of hernia repair surgeries. You’ll likely need more than one type of surgery to repair a hernia.
In some cases, you’ll need a second surgery to remove more tissue.
You may also need surgery to remove the hernia. This is called a recurrence. Depending on the severity of the hernia and the cause of the hernia, you may need a third or fourth surgery.
A hernia repair can cause complications, such as:
- Bowel blockage
- Intestinal wall weakness
- Intestinal obstruction
- Blood clots
- An abscess
- A hernia recurrence
Complications from a hernia repair are more likely if you have other health problems. You may need to have other procedures to treat the other health problems.
You can expect to have a follow-up appointment with your doctor within 3 to 6 months.
The long-term outlook for a hernia depends on what caused the hernia, your age, and your overall health.
A hernia repair can prevent future problems with the affected area. But in some cases, the repair doesn’t work. In these cases, your doctor may decide to remove the hernia.
If you’re pregnant, a hernia repair may be more complicated. A hernia repair may not be safe during pregnancy.
Your doctor can tell you more about your long-term outlook.
Coping with a hernia
If you have a hernia, you may have some discomfort. But it’s very treatable.
You can treat your hernia at home with:
- Rest and pain relievers.
- Sitz baths or compression garments.
- Pressure therapy.
- Pressure bandages.
You should plan for your surgery and recovery. Ask your doctor how to prepare for a hernia repair.
Here are some things you can do to prepare for your surgery:
- Tell your doctor about any recent weight loss or muscle and bone loss.
- Let your doctor know about any other serious health problems you have.
- Make a list of all medications and supplements you’re taking.
- Tell your family and friends where you’re going.
- Tell your doctor about any allergies you have.
- Tell your doctor if you’re pregnant.
- Ask your doctor about any special dietary needs.
You should also ask your doctor about what to expect during your surgery and recovery.
You may need to see a surgeon who specializes in hernias. Your doctor will talk to you about your expected recovery.
If you’re pregnant, know your doctor has all the information you need.
Outcome of a hernia repair
In most cases, a hernia repair is successful. But in some cases, the surgery doesn’t work. This may mean that the tissue around the hernia gets stronger or weaker.
If the surgery doesn’t work, a hernia can recur.
Depending on the cause of your hernia, your doctor may recommend a second surgery. This may be to remove more tissue, or to remove the hernia.
Your doctor might also suggest a third or fourth surgery.
Your doctor will let you know what to expect after surgery.
You can help prevent a hernia by:
- Losing weight if you’re overweight.
- Working out regularly.
- Eating a balanced diet.
- Eating smaller meals.
- Swallowing your food slowly.
- Avoiding foods that cause gas and bloating.
- Avoiding foods that are high in fat, such as fatty foods and greasy foods.
- Eating slowly.
- Not drinking alcohol.
- Not smoking.
Take these prevention tips seriously.
A hernia is a common problem. But it’s treatable.
You shouldn’t let a hernia get worse. But you can help prevent a hernia from getting worse by:
- Getting regular exercise.
- Eating smaller meals instead of larger meals.
- Eating a slow-moving meal.
- Drinking less than 3 alcoholic beverages per day.
A hernia is a bulge or hole in the wall of your abdomen. It’s usually caused by weakness in the muscle that separates your abdominal organs.
The cause is often unknown and may be triggered by a number of factors.
Hernias are common and can be found in many people. They can cause pain and other complications if they’re large enough.
A hernia can be treated with surgery, but there are also a number of other treatments that can help reduce the risk of hernias.
A hernia repair is usually done using surgical mesh to strengthen the abdominal wall and allow it to heal properly.
After the surgery, you should rest and avoid lifting heavy weights to avoid putting added strain on the repair. Getting plenty of rest and staying away from activities that put strain on your body can also help.
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