Definition of Strangulated Internal Hernia: Symptoms, Causes, Surgery

When you think about a hernia, you likely think about that mass towards the groin region someone gets after they forgot to stretch or lift with their legs as with an inguinal hernia. In reality, there are invisible forms of this anomaly.

What is the definition of an internal hernia?

By definition, an internal hernia resides inside. This means that you can’t notice it with the naked eye. The symptoms share many similarities with other diseases that it can get complicated.

What are the symptoms of an internal hernia?

Without that lump, you need to rely on other clues. The most prominent clue would be general health. Symptoms of an internal hernia include fly like expressions like vomiting, nausea, fever, and general feelings of being unwell. Depending on the location of the hernia, impairments on vital functions may also act as an indication something is up.

Irregular heartbeat or breathing are two such things. Signs of obstructions to organs are also a clear possibility beyond cardiac and respiratory distress. Obstructed bowels or intestines may manifest in the bathroom.Constipation or inability to pass a bowel movement are in reports. Other manifestations include stomach issues such as an upset tummy, acid reflux, or other gastrointestinal problems. When it comes to an abdominal hernia, the digestive system is likely affected.

What are the causes of an internal hernia?

There are many reasons why one would experience a hernia. Environmental and biological factors both play a role in causing an internal hernia. Genetic defects leading to faulty wall strength which can make you predisposed to these.

Disregarding congenital problems, influences from the environment can lead to acquisition. Internal strain, as well as medical history, are two examples. Those who underwent gastric bypass surgery are more likely to develop one.

How do you recognize an internal hernia?

With many other hernias, the defining trait is that external lump that lacks the characteristics of a tumor. Unfortunately, this is not observable with a physical examination alone. Radiology techniques will likely be incorporated to provide a solid diagnosis. These radiographic approaches would involve x rays and ultrasounds. These noninvasive imaging technologies will allow a trained radiologist or sonographer to examine the inside of a body without cutting you open. This is an important step as the similarities of the symptoms with endometriosis (disorder where the uterine lining (endometrium) grows outside of the uterus into ovaries, fallopian tubes, or inner pelvis) lead to a spiked rate of dangerous misdiagnosis in women. Internal bowel hernias and umbilical hernia remain some of the most misdiagnosed or undiagnosed.

How dangerous is a strangulated internal hernia?

Hernias generally don’t pose an immediate threat to health. Strangulation is a deadly consequence of an untreated or unknown hernia. A strangulated internal hernia means that the protruded tissue get cut off. When strangled, it’s unable to receive vital nutrients and oxygen. Just as a person would choke to death with no hemoglobin transport. Lacking the delivery of packages of O molecules, the portion of tissue is starved and will die. In a process known as necrosis, this tissue dies. Think back to those scary pictures of mountain hikers whose frostbite turned black or a conjoined twin passed. If that tissue isn’t removed, you perish. It will then poison your body with the toxins which can lead to your death as well.

What is the internal hernia surgery like?

The only way to effectively deal with a hernia is to have surgery. Internal hernia surgery is similar to any other surgery. The operation will begin with you being knocked out with general anesthesia. Following your induced unconsciousness, the operation will begin. An incision will be made, with the size and location depending on the infected site as well as whether it will be an open surgery or done with a robot or camera (laparoscopy). From there the tissue will be exampled for damage (in case of a ruptured hernia) and, if all are healthy, pushed back into place through the hole it burst through. After being replaced, the tear will be addressed. It can either be traditionally sewn back together with stitches or patched up with a mesh. The mesh is sutured on like you would patch a hole on your tire or pool, acting as a prosthesis which covers the area to prevent contents from spilling out again. It is rather routine but doesn’t come without risk. This will be discussed with your surgeon prior to the event.

Does the surgery have any adverse effects?

Surgery is not an amazing this, but it is a necessary evil to combat certain conditions and save your life. Before you go under the knife, certain risks of undergoing the procedure will be explained to you.

These are mainly routine risks which must legally be mentioned for the sake of liability. While most things can be disregarded as scary worst case scenarios, you do want to pay attention in case signs appear in you.

Those who have hernias removed from the groin region sometimes suffer in the bedroom after surgery. Sexual satisfaction is not the only thing to be aware of. Bleeding after surgery could be a sign something has gone wrong. Mesh malfunction is sadly not uncommon, especially with older models and attaching techniques. If you become flushed or hot to the touch, this can indicate infection. Recurrent hernias are a possibility as once the wall has been weakened, you will be statistically more likely to experience hernias again.

These factors will also impact your recovery time. To limit chances of encountering these, adhere to guidelines instructed by your surgeon. Limit strenuous activities and know of risks (find a way to handle chronic coughing or bowel strain). Being overweight or pregnant can also contribute to these side effects. Scarring is to be expected at the surgical site. Scar tissue will likely develop internally and externally. Special creams can reduce this but will not eliminate this.

 

 

Article References:

  1. https://www.medicinenet.com/hernia_overview/article.htm
  2. https://www.ajronline.org/doi/full/10.2214/AJR.05.0644
  3. https://journals.lww.com/jaapa/Citation/2012/01000/An_internal_hernia_causes_abdominal_pain_and_small.8.aspx
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4064401/
  5. https://www.webmd.com/digestive-disorders/understanding-hernia-treatment

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