Strangulated hernia is one of the most dangerous hernias that you can get. Strangulated hernia happens when a part of one of your organs is pushed out of where it is supposed to be. But what is a strangulated hernia and why is a strangulated hernia so dangerous?
What is a Strangulated Hernia?
A hernia is when a part of one of your organs that is located your stomach is pushed out of the pouch that holds the organs in their specific place. The word that doctors use for this pouch is the abdominal wall. The abdominal wall becomes weak in an area. The weakness can be caused by many reasons, the most well-known of these reasons is due to physical activity that has damaged this part of the abdomen, typically by lifting weights.
“A strangulated hernia is the most dangerous type. The contents within the hernia becomes twisted or swollen. When this occurs, normal blood flow to the intestinal loop becomes compromised resulting in death of whatever is within the hernia. Immediate surgery is needed in this type of hernia.” University Surgical Consultants http://universitysurgicalconsultants.com/general-surgery/hernias
First and foremost, it is important to take a moment to understand that most hernias are not life-threatening. A strangulated hernia is different from any other type of hernia only in one way. The blood flow to the part of the organ that has been pushed out of place from where it would normally lay, has restricted blood flow. The restricted blood flow causes the area to not receive the necessary oxygen and nutrients that it needs to survive.
Abdominal hernias are typically classified in one of two categories. The two categories irreducible or reducible are pretty easy to get. Reducible is just that. Reducible bulges can often go back inside the wall with little to no problems. Irreducible hernias cannot, meaning that part that is hanging out will probably not go back behind the abdominal wall.
So what makes a strangulated hernia so different?
A strangulated hernia happens when that part of your organ gets pushed out of a hole that is to small for it to pop back in. Since it was forced out of place through a small little hole, it cannot get blood all the way through. Now, when this happens, that piece dies off quick. Between bleeding and the part of the organ dying off, an infection starts forming immediately. The infection is septicemia which can turn the blood toxic. Leave it for a few hours and gangrene sets in. This whole process can quickly spread throughout the body. Gangrene is basically when the organ begins to die. Gangrene is not just going to affect the area that the dead tissue from the strangulated hernia is in. Gangrene can spread rapidly. The traditional treatment for gangrene is to remove the part that has gangrene on it from the body. If the gangrene spreads throughout the organs, the person may not make it.
“What to expect depends on where the gangrene is in the body, how much gangrene there is, and the person’s overall condition. If treatment is delayed, the gangrene is extensive, or the person has other significant medical problems, they may die.” University of Maryland Medical Center http://www.umm.edu/ency/article/007218trt.htm#ixzz2TVr0sJaX
What are Symptoms of a Strangulated Hernia?
There are many symptoms of a strangulated hernia. People that have a strangulated hernia normally start feeling any number of symptoms that typically starts when the strangulated hernia.
- People that have any kind of hernia will immediately look ill. It is important to understand that people that get a strangulated hernia, they get septicemia.
“Septicemia is a serious, life-threatening infection that gets worse very quickly. It can arise from infections throughout the body, including infections in the lungs, abdomen, and urinary tract. “ University of Maryland Medical Center http://www.umm.edu/ency/article/001355.htm#ixzz2TVFinvO6
- Extreme pain is one of the most common symptoms that a person will face with a strangulated hernia. Since the tissue has started to die, white blood cells will be immediately sent to the affected area. This starts the inflammation response which is responsible for the pain.
- Vomiting and nausea can sometimes affect you do to the strangulated hernia. This happens when the hernia is located around the bowels. Since it cannot go down, the food can be regurgitated.
- The other symptom that a strangulated hernia that is located in the bowels can exhibit is a decrease in the passing of gas. This is due to both the bowels being strangulated and because of the inflammation that the infection causes.
- Just as with any infection of injury, fever can be a common symptom of a strangulated hernia. Fevers are commonly associated with infections of any sort. This is not any different although, the fever could become quite severe.
- And last but not least, shock is a common. Shock is when the circulatory system shuts down. The blood pressure falls very low. People that experience medical shock are confused or even unconscious.
“With the brain deprived of oxygen, it cannot respond to the blood pressure problem, so the blood pressure continues to decline. The kidneys are quickly damaged by a lack of blood, even if treatment procedures are implemented within minutes. Multiple organ failure eventually causes death. Septic shock usually occurs in patients previously diagnosed with sepsis or other infections.” The Annuals of Pharmacotherapy http://www.theannals.com/content/suppl/2005/01/18/aph.1C435.DC1/FOPAC435.pdfPrice DisclaimerPrices are accurate as of less than 12 hours ago. Product prices and availability are subject to change. Any price and availablility information displayed on Amazon.com at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of any products.Price DisclaimerPrices are accurate as of less than 12 hours ago. Product prices and availability are subject to change. Any price and availablility information displayed on Amazon.com at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of any products.
Are There Different Types of Strangulated Hernias?
There are different types of strangulated hernias. The specific type of strangulated hernia will depend on where the hernia is located in. The name of the strangulated hernia is also dependent on the organ that was pushed beyond the wall. The most common hernias are associated with the abdominal area. These include umbilical, incisional, epigastric, femoral, and hiatal hernias. Each kind of hernia can be experienced by both of the sexes although, one may be more likely to get one than the other.
“Hernias are five times as common in men as in women. The reason is twofold. During development, the testicles are formed in the abdomen before moving down into the scrotum, leaving a weak point in the abdomen where a hernia can easily develop. The second reason is occupational: Men tend to have jobs that require more heavy lifting.” Huron Valley-Sanai Hospital http://www.hvsh.org/?id=250&sid=1&CWFriendlyUrl=true
- Inguinal hernias are the most common. Inguinal hernias are when the bowel is pushed down and out of the abdominal wall. It can lodge itself inside of the groin. This kind of hernia can become a strangulated hernia. It is also more common for men to have this kind of hernia than women.
- Umbilical hernias are ones that typically pop up somewhere around the belly button. These hernias are quite common in infants. They can also form in children that are the age of four. Umbilical hernias are less common in adults but they are still seen. This is an area of weakness for anyone. This is because of the umbilical cord that gives us nourishment until we are born.
- Femoral hernias are very similar to inguinal hernias. Instead of the bowel being shoved into the groin, it becomes lodged were your thigh and groin meet.
“Femoral hernias, along with inguinal hernias are groin hernias. They are much more common in women but can occur in men. These hernias appear just below the groin crease and are usually the result of pregnancy and childbirth.” Hernia Solutions http://www.herniasolutions.com/about-hernias/types-of-hernias
- Incisional hernias can happen after a surgery has been performed. As the name suggests, this makes it very easy for part of the surrounding organ to slip out, causing an hernia. This can even happen years after the surgery that assists in the hernia.
“A hernia that appears in the abdomen at the site of a previous surgery is known as a ventral or incisional hernia. These hernias can appear weeks, months, or even years after surgery and can vary in size from small to very large and complex. If you think you have a ventral hernia, it’s important to see your doctor because it may widen and become extremely difficult to repair.” Hernia Solutions http://www.herniasolutions.com/about-hernias/types-of-hernias
What Are my Treatment Options for a Strangulated Hernia?
Even though the majority of hernias do not need immediate medical treatment on their own, strangulated hernias are different. A strangulated hernia ofter begins as a regular hernia that has not been treated by a doctor. It is always a good idea to get a hernia treated as soon as it occurs. This is crucial in making sure that there are no further complications including the development of a strangulated hernia. To treat the strangulated hernia, the doctor has to preform surgery.
“Emergency surgery is sometimes needed. The sac containing the intestine or other tissue may become stuck in the hole in the abdominal wall. If it cannot be pushed back through, this can lead to a strangulated loop of intestine. If left untreated, this portion of the intestine dies because it loses its blood supply.” NY Times http://health.nytimes.com/health/guides/disease/hernia/overview.html
As long as the strangulated hernia is treated quickly, the patient will have a good chance of recovery. It is important to know that a strangulated hernia can make the blood toxic. Strangulated hernia is a very uncommon problem in our modern society since it is easy to get treated.