In recognition of Hernia Awareness Month, Dr. Sam Kirkendall, BSA Amarillo Surgical Group General Surgeon is sharing information on hernia symptoms and treatment options.
Hernias occur when internal organs or fatty tissue are pushed through a weak spot within a muscle or connective tissue.
According to Dr. Kirkendall, there are three common types of hernias:
· Abdominal wall hernias
· Inguinal hernias, which occur at the groin
· Paraesophageal or hiatal hernias, which occur when the stomach pushes into the chest
When a hernia begins to form, it may not cause pain or other symptoms.
“Occasionally hernias can be asymptomatic,” Dr. Kirkendall stated. “They may present initially as a bulge without pain. Over time, the hernia may progress to become larger and will be accompanied by symptoms. The most common symptom of inguinal and abdominal wall hernias is pain. Paraesophageal hernias generally cause pain in the lower chest or abdomen, which frequently worsens after eating.”
Depending on the severity of the hernia, surgical repair may be recommended.
“If someone has a hernia, it is important to be evaluated and discuss treatment options, “Dr. Kirkendall said. “A hernia that is symptomatic and left untreated has the potential to cause severe complications that could result in emergency surgery. A planned, elective surgery can prevent these complications.”
Recovery times for hernia surgery vary based on lifestyle habits and the overall health of the patient. Dr. Kirkendall recommends patients who have undergone hernia surgery to resume normal activity as quickly as possible to aid in the recovery process.
“Most patients will go home the day of surgery,” Dr. Kirkendall stated. “Patients can often return to work within a few days after their surgery.”
If you are having symptoms of a hernia, Dr. Kirkendall can help you feel good again. Speak to your doctor about a physician referral. For more information on services at BSA Amarillo Surgical Group, visit bsahs.org/locations/bsa-amarillo-surgical-group.