An abdominal hernia is a condition in which an internal organ or the fatty tissue around it bulges out through a weak spot in the abdominal wall. This may result in an external protrusion or lump in the affected area, along with severe pain or discomfort and other associated symptoms. It can occur anywhere in the groin, navel, or abdomen. A hernia that occurs near the inguinal canal i.e., in the lower abdominal and groin area is called an inguinal hernia and a hernia that occurs near the femoral canal or in the groin area is called a femoral hernia.
There are other types of abdominal hernias as well, which include umbilical hernias that appear near the belly button, incisional hernias that occur near the previous surgical incision and hiatal hernias that occur in the upper abdomen.
Causes of abdominal hernias
Several conditions that weaken the abdominal muscles and increase of pressure inside the abdomen together result in abdominal hernias. Some common reasons for abdominal hernias include:
- As age increases, our abdominal muscles might become weak, making us more sensitive to hernias.
- Hernia development may be genetically linked in some individuals.
- A hernia may form as a result of the pressure on the abdominal muscles during pregnancy.
- Obesity increases the risk of hernias as the excess weight puts more pressure on the abdominal muscles.
- Hernias are more likely to occur when lifting heavy objects because the abdominal muscles are put under more pressure.
- Any activity that puts stress on the abdominal muscles like chronic cough, sneezing, chronic constipation or straining during a bowel movement can increase the hernia risk.
- Previous abdominal surgeries involve cuts through the abdominal muscles which can make them weak over time and increase the risk of incisional hernias at the site of the incision.
It is important to keep in mind that not everyone with these risk factors will get an abdominal hernia, while some people may have a hernia even though they don’t have any evident risk factors.
Treatment for abdominal hernias may not be the same for everyone because the type, size, and location of the hernia will be different. If a hernia is painful, uncomfortable, or poses a significant threat of strangulation, surgery may be advised. In rare circumstances, taking medication or using a hernia belt or truss to support the area and ease pain may help relieve symptoms. A wait-and-see strategy may be suggested in some situations by doctors.
Is strengthening the abdominal wall possible after hernia surgery?
Yes, strengthening the abdominal wall following a hernia surgery is possible. To prevent complications or any further damage, it’s essential to stick to your doctor’s recommendations and post-operative care instructions.
Patients frequently experience considerable abdominal muscular weakness following hernia surgery. This weakness might result in recurrence or other complications. So doctors recommend strengthening exercises that make abdominal muscles strong enough to prevent further complications.
To assist you in regaining the strength of your abdominal muscles, your doctor can suggest physical therapy or rehabilitation exercises. These exercises may include core strengthening exercises such as planks, bridges, pelvic floor exercises and stretchings. It’s important to remember to begin activities softly and build up to a higher intensity and longer workout session. Consult an expert physician or physical therapist to ensure the exercise routine is executed correctly and safely.
To assist you to maintain a healthy weight and relieve pressure on the abdominal muscles, your doctor may also advise diet modifications and weight management in addition to exercise. Following a balanced diet, regular exercise routine and maintaining an ideal weight can help you to reduce the risk of recurrent hernias and future hernias.
Overall, strengthening the muscles of the abdominal wall after hernia surgery is 100% possible, but you have to work closely with your hernia surgeon in order to develop a safe and effective strategy for post-operative care.
If you are looking out for the best hernia surgeon in Hyderabad, consult Dr. Venugopal Pareek, Laparoscopic and Bariatric Surgeon. He has more than 17 years of experience in the field with a high success rate. Call +91 91-777-77715 to book an appointment with Dr. V Pareek or visit the Appointment Booking page.