Since hernias most frequently occur in men, they often go undiagnosed or worse, misdiagnosed in female patients.
Hernias generally share the same general characteristic: a weakness or gap in the fascial layer (or strength layer) that allows tissue normally contained by the fascia to push through. Depending on the type and severity of the hernia, this condition can be a painless nuisance or a life-threatening condition requiring emergency surgery.
In men and women, a hernia can usually be visualized an an external bulge. However in some women, it can be hidden internally. Entrapped abdominal fat and compressed nerves may also result in chronic intense abdominal or groin pain.
This type of pain in women can be symptomatic of several medical conditions, thus the potential for misdiagnosis.
Three Common Hernias in Women
- Incisional hernias generally occur at the site of a previous surgery and vary in size from tiny to large and complex. Also called ventral hernias, they appear as a bulge of tissues through an opening of weakness anywhere on the abdominal wall muscles.
- Umbilical hernias occur near the belly button, a site of anatomical weakness from the blood vessels of the umbilical cord. They are sometimes caused by abdominal pressure as a result of excessive coughing, being overweight or pregnancy. These hernias can occur in infants, children, men and women.
- Femoral hernias are rare but occur almost exclusively in women. They can be evident just below the groin crease and are usually the result of pregnancy, extended labor or multiple births. Since they are more prone to develop strangulation, prompt medical attention is necessary before the onset of more serious complications.
Female Hernia Symptoms:
- A (possible) bulge or swelling in the belly or groin region that may pop in and out with intermittent episodes of pain and tenderness
- Intense chronic pelvic pain
- Stinging, burning or pinching pain when straining, lifting or coughing
Female Hernia Surgery
After a woman’s hernia is accurately diagnosed and surgically corrected — usually by placing mesh over the hole during a laparoscopic procedure — symptoms are usually resolved after recovery from the minimally invasive procedure. “In most cases, hernia repair operations take about 1-hour, start to finish, and do not require hospitalization,” explains Dr. Sowemimo. “The patient is back on her feet the same day and can slowly build up to regular, daily activities after about four weeks.”
In severe instances, hernias may entrap a piece of the intestine, causing gangrene, a life-threatening medical emergency. If you are male or female and are experiencing ongoing abdominal or groin area pain, see your doctor before complications develop.
The Hernia Center at Prime Surgicare in Monmouth County
Our board certified and fellowship-trained laparoscopic surgeons have performed hundreds of successful hernia operations in New York and New Jersey since 2007. Your Freehold, NJ-based Hernia Center team will be by your side before, during and after your hernia operation is performed. We combine our advanced professional surgical training, technical skill and modern surgical facilities to ensure the best result for you.
Call our friendly and experienced surgical staff at (732) 982-2002 to make an appointment this week to discuss your upcoming surgery need.
Dr. Seun Sowemimo and Dr. Bennet Togbe are board-certified and fellowship-trained, general, laparoscopic and bariatric surgeons in NJ. They specialize in minimally invasive weight loss surgery and general surgery procedures including diverticulitis, gallbladder and hernia conditions. They are the top NJ surgeons at Prime Surgicare, with offices in Freehold serving Monmouth and Ocean counties.
To learn more, visit our YouTube channel or call Prime Surgicare at (732)-982-2002.