Saturday, July 30, 2016

Facts On Ventral Hernias Houston Residents Should Know

By Michael Davis

Upwards of 90,000 surgical operations are performed annually to correct various types of ventral hernias. These include epigastric, umbilical, inguinal and incisional types. These three defects are all located on the anterior abdominal wall in various regions due to a weakness that exist in the muscular layer of the region. If they intend on undergoing the corrective operation for ventral hernias Houston patients should understand a number of things beforehand.

Any of these problems can be seen at any age as long as the predisposing factors are present. A significant proportion are present from birth and indicate the presence of a congenital defect in the area that is affected. A few of the inguinal hernias seen at this age may vanish as the child grows especially if the defect is very small. For most of the others, however, surgery is required.

Most, if not all ventral hernias, provide a route for intestines to protrude from their natural position. This poses a great danger due to the likelihood of the intestinal loops to be trapped into the hernia sac. This may lead to intestinal obstruction that requires surgery to be corrected. In some cases where the obstruction is severe, blood supply to the intestinal loops may be cut off causing them to lose viability.

The signs and symptoms of hernias are similar regardless of the region that is involved. Swelling is one of the most obvious symptoms. The swelling is intermittent and is most likely to increase in prominence if there is an increase in intra-abdominal pressure such as when bearing down or during a cough. Pain is often present but may not be experienced if the defect is large enough to allow free movement of the intestinal loops.

Apart from taking your medical history, the doctor will also conduct a physical examination that is aimed at evaluating the problem further. Areas of interest will include the size, the location and the reducibility of the defect among others. Some investigations may be requested for in select cases. Such will include ultrasound scans and CT scan images. If a decision to have surgery is made, some blood tests will be done as well.

The treatment chosen will depend on the findings after the history, physical examination and the imaging studies. Small defects that are not causing any discomfort may be managed conservatively through watchful waiting except in cases where the patient requests for surgery. There are two main techniques that are employed during surgery. These include the open technique and the laparoscopic technique.

The open technique is where a surgical incision is made near the hernia pouch to gain access to the defect. Once it is opened, a mesh is fitted near the defect to block the defect. An alternative is to close the defect using permanent sutures. In the laparoscopic technique, an instrument known as a laparoscope is inserted into the abdominal cavity using three ports. The defect is accessed from the inside and repaired through suturing or meshing.

It is important to note that there is no drug that can seal the defect in the anterior abdominal wall. If one wants to deal with this problem then surgery is a necessity. The operation itself is usually fairly simple and free of complications except in rare circumstances. Complications that may be encountered may include excessive blood loss, injury to structures such as the balder and intestines and infections.

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