A lot of people still believe that hernia can be treated with lifestyle changes or products like hernia drops, hernia tea, hernia potion, hernia cream and likewise. Despite being one of the oldest diseases known to mankind, hernia is still misunderstood and is surrounded by myths.
Dr. Ankit Mishra, AWR and Laparoscopic Surgeon, Livlife Hospital & Omni Hospital, Hyderabad, says, “A person is said to have a hernia when his/her organs push through a weak spot in the abdominal muscle and protrude outwards beneath the skin. Such a condition may occur due to the weakening of muscles of the abdominal cavity due to surgery, physical exertion, obesity or pregnancy. A hernia can usually be seen as a bulge on the surface of the skin which can be pushed inside manually or while lying down. Men are more commonly affected with almost 90% of inguinal hernia cases diagnosed in men.”
The condition may be accompanied by slight to severe pain. From causing mild discomfort to taking the form of a life-threatening situation , hernias can be complex and require timely treatment.
Emphasizing the importance of surgery in treating hernia, Dr. Mishra says, “The hole in the abdominal cavity cannot heal on its own and needs to be closed using surgery and the abdominal wall also needs strengthening using an implant called mesh. Therefore, no amount of lifestyle changes or medicines can cure hernia and surgery is the only treatment.”
A mesh is a sophisticated, well-researched synthetic or semi-synthetic biological material used to support the weak tissues of the abdominal wall to prevent the reoccurrence of the hernia. Having been introduced about five decades ago, the mesh has now become the gold standard for hernia surgery and care.
Mesh is the centre-pillar of good hernia surgery and any compromise on the quality may jeopardize the entire repair. Treating hernia is now beyond closing the ‘gap’ only. We aim to restore the integrity of the most dynamic system of the human body, the abdomen, to provide the best possible functional outcome for the patients,” says Dr. Mishra.
The surgery for treating a hernia may be performed in either of the three ways- open surgery, laparoscopic surgery and robotic laparoscopic surgery. With technology fast advancing, most surgeons prefer modern/advanced laparoscopic surgery or keyhole surgery as it is minimally invasive when compared to traditional open surgery. Moreover, it also ensures earlier recovery, lower chances of infection and relatively lesser pain. Robotic surgery is also gaining traction due to its precision and promising results, however, concerns regarding its cost still remain to be resolved.
Even though this is the general consensus, each kind of surgery has its own pros and cons and your surgeon would be the best / ideal person who can decide which method to go for.3 Post-surgery care is also an important part of hernia treatment; your doctor might instruct you to follow a certain diet, avoid physical strain and take care of the incision site. However, chances of recurrence due to tissue weakness, prolonged healing, or risk factors such as obesity and smoking remain after undergoing surgery.
Disclaimer: Views expressed are independent views of the Dr Ankit Mishra and are intended for general information and educational purposes only.