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Hernia Singapore: Symptoms That You Have a Hernia

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Disclaimer: The information in this article is intended to provide educational guidance as there may be other treatment options available; it does not replace the need for professional medical advice and should not be relied upon as specific advice for individual cases.

Hernias, though common, should never be underestimated. Ignoring the signs can lead to serious health consequences. In this article, we will explore what hernias are, the various types, crucial symptoms to watch out for, the risks of ignoring them, treatment options including surgery, and essential prevention methods.


What is a Hernia?

A hernia occurs when an organ or tissue pushes through a weakened spot in the muscle or connective tissue that usually holds it in place. It can manifest as a noticeable bulge under the skin and can happen in various areas of the body.


Different Types of Hernias

Inguinal Hernias:

These are the most common type and occur in the groin when part of the intestine pushes through the abdominal wall.

Umbilical Hernias:

They appear near the navel when tissue protrudes through the abdominal wall around the belly button.

Incisional Hernias:

These occur at the site of a previous abdominal surgery where the tissue pushes through the weakened scar tissue.

Hiatal Hernias:

This happens when part of the stomach protrudes through the diaphragm into the chest cavity.

Crucial Symptoms That Should Not Be Ignored

Hernia symptoms vary based on the type and location, but some common signs should never be taken lightly:

Visible Bulge: The most common sign of a hernia is a noticeable lump or bulge at the site of the hernia. It may only be visible when you strain, lift something heavy, bend over, or even when you laugh.  

Pain or Discomfort: Persistent pain or discomfort, especially when lifting, coughing, or straining.

Abdominal Pain: Unexplained pain in the abdomen, often accompanied by nausea and vomiting.

If you have any of these symptoms, it is crucial to seek medical attention as soon as possible.

What Happens If They Are Left Untreated?

Ignoring hernias can be life-threatening. If left untreated, hernias can lead to severe complications, including:

Strangulation: Hernias can become incarcerated, where the tissue becomes trapped and loses its blood supply, leading to tissue death (necrosis) and infection.

Bowel Obstruction: A hernia can obstruct the bowel, causing severe pain and potentially leading to bowel tissue damage.

Treatment Options

The primary treatment for hernias is surgery. Hernia repair surgery can be done through open surgery or minimally invasive laparoscopic techniques. A hernia specialist or surgeon in Singapore can determine the best approach based on the type and severity of the hernia. 

Open Hernia Repair (Herniorrhaphy):

In an open hernia repair, the surgeon makes a single, larger incision near the hernia site. The protruding tissue or organ is pushed back into place, and the weakened muscle or tissue is often reinforced with sutures. Sometimes, a synthetic mesh may be used to provide additional support to the area. This procedure can be done under local or general anesthesia.

Laparoscopic Hernia Repair:

This is a minimally invasive approach where several small incisions are made, and a laparoscope (a thin, flexible tube with a camera) is inserted into one of them to visualise the hernia. Surgical instruments are then inserted through the other incisions. The hernia is typically repaired with the use of synthetic mesh. Laparoscopic surgery often results in less post-operative pain and a quicker recovery.

The choice of hernia repair surgery depends on factors such as the type of hernia, its location, the patient’s overall health, and the surgeon’s expertise. It’s essential for individuals with hernias to consult with a healthcare professional to determine the most suitable surgical approach and to discuss the risks and benefits of each option. Early intervention and appropriate surgical treatment can help prevent complications and ensure a successful hernia repair.


Prevention Methods

While not all hernias can be prevented, there are steps you can take to reduce your risk:

  • Maintain a healthy weight.
  •  Avoid heavy lifting or use proper lifting techniques.
  •  Manage constipation to avoid straining during bowel movements.
  •  Strengthen abdominal muscles through exercise.

In conclusion, hernias are a common medical issue, but their symptoms should never be ignored. Ignoring them can lead to potentially life-threatening complications. If you experience hernia symptoms, consult a hernia specialist or surgeon in Singapore promptly. Early diagnosis and treatment can prevent further complications and ensure your continued good health.

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Here at KYM Surgery, we believe in providing holistic & comprehensive medical care for all patients.