The 3 Most Common Types of Abdominal Hernias in Men

When a fatty tissue or an organ squeezes through a spot in a connective tissue called a fascia, or in a surrounding muscle, a hernia is caused. There are many different types of hernia, but in men, there are three types that occur most commonly. These are inguinal hernia or inner groin hernia, hiatal hernias or hernias or the upper stomach and incisional hernia, which result from an incision.

Hernias are caused by a variety of reasons, some of the most common being incessant constipation or diarrhea, persistent sneezing or coughing, and in men, most commonly by lifting heavy objects without appropriately stabilizing the abdominal muscles.

The following are three of the most commonly found hernias in men:

Inguinal Hernia

One of the most common types of hernia in men is inguinal hernias, making up around two thirds of all adult hernias. These abdominal hernias occur in the inguinal canal, where a man’s testicles have to descend before birth. This results in a natural defect in men, known as the internal inguinal ring, and if not sealed properly, could lead to an inguinal hernia. This may cause the abdominal contents like the intestines to protrude through to opening. This may be quite painful.

These hernias are situated in the lower abdomen, near the pubic area, just above the crease of the leg. They have been known to occur on both sides of the pubic area. In this case, they are referred to as bilateral inguinal hernias. This hernia may be so painful that the pain may resonate in the scrotum or upper thigh.

These hernias may either be indirect or direct. Indirect inguinal hernias may take place through a naturally occurring weakness in the internal inguinal ring, whereas direct inguinal hernias may be a result of a weakness in the floor of the inguinal canal, just below the internal inguinal ring. A direct inguinal hernia is more likely to occur in males over the age of 40.

There are several techniques to repair inguinal hernias such as laparoscopic tension-free techniques, tension-free techniques and tension repair. In the tension repair technique, the rate of recurrence is 15%, and the hernia may recur just about any time. But the rate of recurrence in the other two techniques is fairly low in comparison.

Hiatal Hernia

Hiatal hernias occur when the upper stomach squeezes through the hiatus. The hiatus is an opening in the diaphragm which the esophagus passesthrough.The diaphragm is the muscle which separates the abdominal cavity from the chest cavity.

Hernias such as these cause conditions like acid reflux, wherein acid from the stomach releases into the esophagus, causing pain, heartburn, and erosion of the esophagus. A hiatal hernia is treated with a sophisticated surgery as a laparoscopic Fundoplication, or minimally invasive procedure. Usually, this surgery requires a shorter hospital stay, and patients usually resume regular activity in a week’s time.

Incisional Hernia

An incisional hernia or a ventral hernia occurs in the abdomen in the area where a previous surgery was conducted. Hernias such as these may occur years, months or weeks after the surgery in question and can range in size and complexity from large to small. An incisional hernia may widen over time and be complicated to repair. That is why it should never be ignored and one should see a doctor immediately.

Laparoscopic tension-free and tension-free have a lower recurrence rates as compared to tension repair techniques, which have a 50% recurrence rate.

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