An inguinal hernia is a condition that can cause regular pain and discomfort if not treated. It can even become life-threatening if the hernia becomes strangulated or twisted. But if you are feeling some discomfort in your groin area or lower abdomen, is it really inguinal hernia? Often, most people are not even aware that they have a hernia until they are examined by a specialist. So if you have some pain or discomfort in the lower abdomen or groin area, here’s what you should know: quick facts on the symptoms of inguinal hernia – and when to see a specialist.
The clear symptoms of inguinal hernia
If you feel a bulge or lump on either side of your lower abdomen, near the pubic bone, and it is more noticeable when you are standing up, this could be an inguinal hernia. Another symptom is when you have an aching or burning sensation on the lump itself. The pain can also become worse when you are lifting, coughing, or bending. There could also be some pressure or a ‘weak feeling’ in your lower abdomen or groin, or a sensation of heaviness in the area. Some men may also experience a swelling around the area of the testicles, which occurs when the protrusion (the intestine or tissue) descends into the person’s testicle area.
In many cases, you may be able to push the inguinal hernia back in, especially when you are in a prone position or lying down. You can also reduce the visible swelling by placing an ice pack on the affected area.
When to see a specialist
The problem begins, though, when the tissue becomes trapped in the walls of the abdomen, and the hernia becomes incarcerated. A hernia which is incarcerated brings a greater risk of a strangulated inguinal hernia, which can be dangerous and life-threatening.
If you suddenly experience additional symptoms such as fever, nausea/vomiting, a sharp, sudden pain at the lower abdomen or groin area, and a lump or bulge which changes colour, turning purple or dark red, then you should contact a specialist right away. Another emergency symptom is when you are unable to pass gas or make a bowel movement.
In emergency cases, surgery is necessary. A strangulated inguinal hernia will cut off the flow of blood to the trapped tissue, and this can result in a life-threatening condition if it is not treated. You will have to undergo either open or laparoscopic surgery in order to treat it.
It is best to address the problem of an inguinal hernia before it becomes worse – and before it becomes an emergency. To get the proper medical care and attention, you should make sure that the specialist you choose is an expert in hernia surgery, such as the hernia surgery in Surrey specialists from the London Surgical Group.
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