Image: Different kinds of hernias

A hernia is an incredibly common medical condition. It can affect men, women, and even children. However, hernias usually don’t get better on their own.

That said, surgery may be the only way to fix them. In a procedure to repair a hernia, mesh implants are often used. But since their fast-track approval, hernia mesh devices have caused injuries and complications in several patients.

As a result, thousands of lawsuits have already been filed against manufacturers of faulty mesh implants. Many of these cases have been centralized in a multidistrict litigation (MDL). The next hernia mesh lawsuit 2022 trial is set to be on January 10.

Hernias occur when an organ or other tissue pushes through a weak spot in the abdominal wall. This condition is noticeable as a bulge in your belly or groin and can also be painful. However, it’s also not uncommon for hernias to show no symptoms at all.

Continue reading the article to learn more about the different types of hernias as well as the areas in the body where they can occur.

Most Common Types of Hernia

A hernia occurs when an internal organ or tissue protrudes through the wall of muscle that’s usually holding it in.

Some types of hernias are more common than others. The most common forms of hernia include:

  • Inguinal
  • Femoral
  • Epigastric
  • Umbilical
  • Incisional
  • Hiatal

Inguinal Hernia

An inguinal hernia occurs when a portion of your intestine protrudes through the inguinal canal and into your groin. In men, the inguinal canal is a passageway consisting of the spermatic cord, blood vessels, and lymphatics.

On the other hand, in women, the contents of this passageway include the round ligament that provides support for the womb.

Inguinal hernia is the most common type of hernia. In fact, of all hernias that occur, 75 to 80 percent are inguinal or femoral. It also affects men more often than women. According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, an estimated 27 percent of men and 3 percent of women will develop an inguinal hernia at some point in their lives.

Surgery is often needed to fix an inguinal hernia. This is because of the risk that the resulting bulge may contain a loop of intestine that got stuck outside the abdominal wall. Loss of blood supply in the intestine may result in intestinal obstruction and possibly death.

Femoral Hernia

A femoral hernia occurs when tissue bulges into the groin or at the top of the inner thigh. Femoral hernias are less common than inguinal hernias and mainly appear in older women.

Pain from this type of hernia is often felt in the groin area. This is why it’s sometimes mistaken for an inguinal hernia. At times, it may be difficult to spot the difference between the two. However, the resulting bulge from an inguinal hernia can also appear in the scrotum and not only in the groin.

A femoral hernia may feel like a small- to medium-sized bulge in the groin. It can be a cause for concern because of the nearby vein and femoral artery. There’s a possibility that the hernia could affect these blood vessels and cut off blood supply to and from the leg.

As a result, doctors almost always try to fix a femoral hernia with an emergency surgery.

Epigastric Hernia

An epigastric hernia results from fatty tissue pushing through the abdominal area between the belly button and lower breastbone. It occurs more often in men than women.

These hernias are often small and have no symptoms. But they can still cause pain in the upper belly. Larger hernias may need surgery to repair.

Umbilical Hernia

An umbilical hernia is especially common in newborn babies under six months old. These hernias occur when fatty tissue or a portion of the intestine bulges through a weak area near the belly button.

This results in a visible bulge near the belly button area that often gets worse when you cough or strain during bowel movement.

In infants, this type of hernia occurs when the muscles around the umbilical cord don’t close after birth. They usually close on their own when the child is around four to five years old.

Most umbilical hernias don’t become a serious problem for an individual. However, they may require surgery if they get bigger, become painful, or don’t go away on their own.

Incisional Hernia

An incisional hernia can develop after a person has abdominal surgery. It usually involves an incision down the abdomen area.

In an incisional hernia, tissue protrudes through the site of a surgical wound that didn’t heal completely.

Hiatal Hernia

A hiatal hernia is a bit different from other types of hernias as it involves the stomach instead of the intestine. It occurs when part of your stomach pushes up through an opening in the diaphragm.

Symptoms that are indicative of a hiatal hernia include heartburn and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).

Oftentimes, people only need treatment for hiatal hernias if they have symptoms. This may include treatments to reduce heartburn or hernia surgery in severe cases.

What happens if a hernia is left untreated?

With the exception of umbilical hernias in infants, hernias usually don’t resolve on their own. In fact, if left untreated, a hernia can grow bigger, become more painful, or result in complications.

Particularly, an untreated inguinal or femoral hernia can lead to complications such as:

  • Obstruction (incarceration) – An incarcerated hernia is a portion of the intestine or abdominal tissue that becomes stuck in the groin or scrotum. If the hernia becomes incarcerated, it can become painful and tender.
  • Strangulation – A strangulated hernia is a life-threatening medical condition. A section of the intestine bulges through a weakened area of the abdominal muscle. The part of the intestine becomes trapped in a way that could cut off its blood supply.

When To Seek The Help Of A Lawyer

In general, experiencing any of the above conditions don’t call for a lawyer’s help. First and foremost, you should see your doctor for medical advice. It becomes necessary to consult a lawyer, however, if you suffered from injuries or experienced complications following a hernia surgery.

In many cases, the surgical mesh that’s often used to repair hernias have caused several problems for patients. Plaintiffs who have filed hernia mesh lawsuits allege that these medical devices have defective designs that caused their injuries.

This Is How We Can Help You

If you or your loved one suffered from injuries that resulted from a defective hernia mesh used for hernia repair, you may have a case against the manufacturers of those devices.

But we know how difficult it may be to think of pursuing legal action while experiencing complications and side effects from your surgery. And that’s where we come in — we’re here to take the burden of thinking about what might be the best legal option for you.

You can contact us today to discuss your specific circumstances and to explore what legal options you may have.

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