Hospital of Central Connecticut
Do you need help with your hernia? If so, youâ€™re not alone. Itâ€™s estimated that more than a million abdominal wall hernia repairs are performed in the United States every year and itâ€™s a condition that impacts men, women and children.
A hernia forms when an organ is able to protrude through a hole in the abdominal wall or groin â€“ forming a visible bulge. â€śMainly itâ€™s intestine and intestinal fat, but other organs can also protrude through as well,â€ť said Marko Lujic, MD, a surgeon who specializes in hernia repair and surgery at The Hospital of Central Connecticut (HOCC) in New Britain.
Dr. Lujic says that as we age, gain/lose weight, and take part in strenuous activity, the seal of our abdominal wall starts to break down â€“ creating a space for a hernia to form. â€śAnyone can get a hernia, but people who do heavy lifting, and are very active are more prone to them because itâ€™s really a disease of overuse and abdominal pressure,â€ť Dr. Lujic said.
There are several types of hernias that can form in different parts of the body, which include:
â€˘ Inguinal hernia: Intestine or fat bulges through lower stomach or groin. Most common type of hernia
â€˘ Femoral hernia: The inner thigh or groin
â€˘ Incisional hernia: Sometimes happens after stomach surgery
â€˘ Epigastric hernia: Between the belly button and lower ribcage
â€˘ Hiatal hernia: Stomach bulges through a weak area of the diaphragm
â€˘ Umbilical hernia: Bulge in the belly button area
â€śIn addition to the bulge or abnormal lump, some people may experience pain associated with the hernia. Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and constipation are also symptoms,â€ť Dr. Lujic explains. â€śIf the bulge is extremely sore and tender or the skin becomes red or irritated thatâ€™s a sign you need to go to the hospital.â€ť
Dr. Lujic says that a hernia can go away in terms of the bulge going in and out. However, the space the organ was able to get through in the first place, which is the source of the problem, will never go away without surgical intervention.
â€śWe really fix hernias, not because of the aesthetics or because of the bump, but because if an organ goes into that abdominal space and gets stuck and loses its blood supply it could die and then we need to do emergency surgery where you could lose a piece of your bowel or intestine,â€ť said Dr. Lujic.
Options for surgery will vary based on the size of the hernia. Dr. Lujic says doctors can make an open incision to repair the hernia, do it laparoscopically with minimally invasive holes, or do it robotically, which is a method he now uses.
â€śIf you do have a hernia, you need to get it looked at sooner rather than later. When a hernia is small the surgery to get rid of it is easier and the recovery time is shorter,â€ť Dr. Lujic adds.
Dr. Marko Lujic is a surgeon at The Hospital of Central Connecticut who specializes in hernia repair and hernia surgery. For more information call 860.223.0800 or visit https://hartfordhealthcaremedicalgroup.org/MarkoLujic