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The Management Options Of Ventral Hernias Houston Residents Need To Be Aware Of

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By Michael Davis

Hernias are swellings or bulges on the skin usually due to the pressure of underlying structures being pushed through an area of weakness in the abdominal muscles. Ventral hernias are those that are located in the anterior abdominal wall. They include incisional, epigastric, umbilical and inguinal hernias. If they have been diagnosed with ventral hernias Houston residents need to know a number of things even as they consider undergoing treatment.

These problems may set in at any age. Many of them are first noticed at birth indicating a presence of an anatomical defect in the anterior abdominal wall. Although a few inguinal hernias may disappear as the child grows, many of them require surgical correction. Another period at which these swellings may be seen is the period that follows pregnancy or surgery since both of these conditions weaken the abdominal wall muscles.

A hernia usually contains the contents of the underlying cavity. In this case, it contains intestinal loops and other tissues from the abdominal cavity. The presence of intestinal loops in the hernia sac puts them at risk of obstruction. When this happens, an emergency surgical operation is required. Without the operation part of the loops may have their blood supply cut off and they may 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 the suggestive symptoms, your doctor will have to conduct a physical examination. The examination will be centered on establishing characteristics such as location, size, contents and reducibility among others. Some doctors may also request for some investigations to confirm the diagnosis. Those that are commonly used include ultrasound scans and CT scans. Blood tests may be needed as well if a decision to have surgery is made.

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.

In the open approach, an incision is first made in area near the defect. Once the defect is accessed, a mesh is inserted and this effectively prevents the movement of abdominal contents through it. Another option is to use non-absorbable sutures such as nylon to close the defect. If laparoscopy is chosen, the approach will involve the creation of three incisions (ports of entry) in the anterior abdomen for insertion of the instrument.

There is no drug that can be used to treat ventral hernia. Surgery is almost always a necessity if the problem is to be dealt with once and for all. The operation is usually straightforward in most cases. Possible risks include bleeding, injury to intestines and the bladder and infections. Fortunately, these complications are a rare occurrence. After surgery, most people can resume their normal routine within a few days.

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