Hernia is caused when a tissue or an organ in the body protrudes abnormally through a weakened cavity wall in which it usually resides. There are various types of hernias – Incisional hernia (caused due to an incompletely healed wound after a surgery), Inguinal (the inner parts of the groin), Femoral (the outer parts of the groin), Ventral hernia (the abdomen), Hiatus hernia (the diaphragm).
Most cases of hernia are caused due to morbid obesity as obesity affects muscles to a great extent. Accumulation of excessive body fat weakens the muscles and increases the risk of developing hernias underneath the abdominal wall. Increased intra abdominal pressure associated with obesity pushes the contents outside causing hernia. As the size of hernia increases, the tissue protrudes through the abdominal wall and is visibly seen on the outside. There’s also a risk of developing multiple hernias. At times, due to increase in the size of the hernia, the intestinal loop may get entangled in the muscle tissue leading to severe pain, discomfort and vomiting.
Treatment for hernia may first require an extensive treatment for obesity to bring about positive results. Reducing the body mass is imperative prior to the surgery as it decreases the risk of complications and recurrences. Many a times, just the weight loss helps reduce the pain, discomfort and even the size of the hernia bulge.
For the patients who are unable to lose weight through diet and exercise, weight loss or bariatric surgeries can prove to be a useful option. Lap Sleeve Gastrectomy and Gastric Bypass are some bariatric procedures that limit food intake and bring about reduction in absorption of calories in the body. When the body weight of the patient reduces considerably, they can consult their doctors further to begin the treatment of hernia.
Hence, the definitive repair of hernias is performed a few months after bariatric surgery when significant weight loss has occurred.