If you suspect you may have a hernia, it’s important to determine the type before you can seek treatment. If you play a lot of sport, it’s possible you could be suffering from a sports hernia, rather than a regular hernia. So, what’s the difference and how will it affect treatment?

Find out everything you need to know about sports vs regular hernias below…

What is a sports hernia?

Sports hernias, otherwise known as Athletic Pubalgia Syndrome, occur when the tendons or muscles of the abdomen weaken. Those with a strong core may think they are protected against this type of hernia. However, they occur more in those with thinner, rather than weaker muscles.

They tend to occur due to twisting and changing direction during athletic activity, and affect both men and women. Sports hernias are particularly prevalent in football players, ballet dancers, hockey players, and golfers.

What’s the difference?

A sports hernia develops in the same region as a regular hernia. However, there are some differences to be aware of. Regular, or Inguinal hernias, occur solely within the Inguinal canal. Sports hernias on the other hand, can occur anywhere within the abdominal area.

Sports hernias also don’t present a visible pouch like Inguinal hernias do. This can make them tricky to diagnose. However, there are other symptoms to watch out for including:

  • Pain within the abdominal area when carrying out activity
  • Testicle pain in men
  • Hip pain
  • Pain reduction when resting from sport

These are the main symptoms to watch out for. If you suspect you do have a sports hernia, it is important to first seek diagnosis before you can undergo treatment.

Treatment options

There are several treatment options available to treat a sports hernia, depending upon its severity. For very mild hernias, you may just need a period of rest. However, most hernias will not clear up on their own without treatment.

Physical therapy can be useful at strengthening the muscles and improving flexibility. This will help to prevent future hernias. You may also be prescribed anti-inflammatory medications to help reduce any pain and swelling.

In severe cases, you may need to undergo surgery. This will involve either an open or an endoscopic procedure to repair the torn tissues. Around 90% of patients who undergo this treatment return to their sport. However, some patients have a recurrence of the hernia in their sport, and the surgical repair needs to be repeated.

In some cases, the pain may not go away after the initial surgical procedure. If your pain doesn’t reside, a secondary procedure may be carried out to cut the tendon or nerve in the affected area.

Sports hernias and regular hernias are very similar. But it is mostly where they occur that differentiates them. Book a consultation and speak to Mr Alan Woodward if you have any questions about hernia surgery.

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force has released new guidelines on the detection of Colorectal cancer. Currently, unlike the UK, the age patients start colorectal cancer screening is 50 in the States. However, the new guidelines advise lowering the age limit to 45.

Like any serious illness, the earlier it is detected, the better the chances are of beating Colorectal cancer. However, it isn’t the only condition that you need to watch out for.

Colorectal disease relates to several potentially serious conditions. Here, we’ll look at why early screening is important when Colorectal disease is suspected, alongside the current treatment options available.

What is Colorectal disease?

Colorectal diseases affect the large intestine. They include a vast range of conditions including:

  • Chronic constipation or diarrhoea
  • Haemorrhoids
  • Colon Polyps
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease
  • Colon cancer

These are just a small number of Colorectal diseases and conditions you can develop. While some are certainly more serious than others, early detection is important for all Colorectal diseases. In Colon cancer cases, early detection could make the difference between life and death.

The earlier Colon cancer is detected, the sooner treatment can start. Catching any form of cancer early greatly improves prognosis. The question is, what symptoms should you be looking out for?

Symptoms to watch out for

If you want to detect Colon cancer early, there are a few notable symptoms to keep a lookout for.

Bleeding from the bottom is one of the most common signs of colon cancer. However, it can also link to other, less serious conditions. If the blood is dark red or black, it means it has come from the stomach or bowels. If it is a lighter red, it typically indicates piles or haemorrhoids. Any sign of bleeding from the bottom should be investigated, if only to rule out Colon cancer.

If you experience any change within your bowel habits which last longer than 3 weeks, it could also be a sign of cancer. You may experience chronic diarrhoea or constipation. If a change in toilet habits is also accompanied by blood in the stools, you should seek a diagnosis from the doctor.

Other symptoms to watch out for include feeling constantly tired, unexplained weight loss, and the development of a painful hard lump.

Diagnosis and treatment options

To diagnose a Colorectal condition, surgeons at the Alan Woodward Surgical Group will use a range of tests. A colonoscopy is one of the most effective ways to diagnose a condition. It uses a small camera to investigate the rectum and colon internally. Alternatively, a CT Colonography may be carried out instead.

If Colorectal disease is detected, several treatment options may be offered. An Endoscopic Mucosal Resection or bowel resection are the most common treatments available. These help to remove cancerous tissue, alongside any diseased parts of the bowel and colon.

If you suspect you may have Colorectal disease, it is important to seek early diagnosis. Book an appointment at the Alan Woodward Surgical Group to help put your mind at ease by calling 03000 204 734.

After a hernia surgery, rehabilitation is key to your recovery. However, did you know there are things you can do before the procedure to reduce the risks?

Prehabilitation can help to prepare the body for surgery, aiding in overall recovery. Although hernia surgery tends to be minimally invasive, it isn’t without its risks and complications.

Here, we will explore why prehabilitation is important if you want to aid recovery after undergoing hernia surgery.

What is hernia surgery?

Hernia surgery is an effective way to eliminate large, problematic hernias. Most hernias will require surgery to remove them. There are several ways the procedure can be carried out including an open or a keyhole approach.

During keyhole surgery the surgeon will make a small incision through which a small camera and specialised tools will be used to carry out the repair. The bulge will be pushed back into place before mesh is used to secure and strengthen the area.

Understanding the risks and complications

There are some risks and complications that can lead to a poor recovery after a hernia repair. The most common risk factors include:

  • Obesity
  • Smoking
  • Lack of core muscle strength
  • Diabetes

Obesity and smoking are particularly known to increase the risk of a poor recovery. The good news is most of these risk factors can be reduced with a good prehabilitation program.

How can prehabilitation help?

Prehabilitation refers to getting the body in peak condition prior to undergoing surgery. The healthier you are when you go under the knife, the less likely you will be to experience potential risks and complications.

So, what does it involve? This will ultimately vary from patient to patient. Surgeons can set up a customised prehabilitation program for any patient that will benefit. This could include dietary changes, cutting down on alcohol, quitting smoking, and increasing physical activity.

Surgeons who do have prehabilitation programs in place have seen a drastic reduction in side effects after a hernia repair. This includes a reduced risk of infection and reoccurrence.

However, you don’t have to rely on a surgical prehabilitation program alone. Making healthier lifestyle choices will ultimately help to reduce the risks involved.

How long does it take to recover from hernia surgery?

Recovery from a hernia repair will typically take between three and six weeks. You should ideally wait a couple of weeks before getting back to your usual daily routine.

After the procedure, you will likely experience some level of pain, redness, and swelling. You can take over-the-counter anti-inflammatory and pain medications to ease these symptoms. It is also worth noting that the type of hernia repair you undergo will also impact recovery.

Your surgeon will provide full aftercare instructions to help ease discomfort and aid in recovery.

If you are looking to reduce the risks of hernia repair surgery, consider prehabilitation. Book a consultation with Mr Woodward today to plan for your hernia repair with an effective prehabilitation program.

Hernias are a common, painful lumps which can develop at any age. However, they do tend to be most common in older adults and pregnant women. Developing a hernia during or after pregnancy isn’t that common, but it can happen.

So, what exactly are hernias, why do they occur after pregnancy, and can you prevent them?

Here, you’ll discover everything you need to know about hernias after pregnancy, including treatment options.

What are hernias and why do they occur in pregnancy?

Hernias are lumps that develop due to a weakness within the surrounding tissue wall or muscle. Tissue, fat, or the intestines can protrude through the weakened wall, presenting as a small lump.

There are different types of hernia that can occur, and some are more common during and after pregnancy than others. The good news is, most of the time hernias aren’t harmful to your health. However, they do require treatment to eliminate them completely.

Understanding the different types of hernia

The most common types of hernia that can occur during or after pregnancy include:

  • Ventral hernias
  • Umbilical hernias
  • Inguinal hernias

Ventral hernias tend to develop in the midline, in the centre of the stomach. They mostly occur on past surgical sites, so you may be more at risk if you underwent a C-Section.

Umbilical hernias develop around the belly button, and they are most common in babies. However, you may develop one yourself during pregnancy. The majority do tend to close on their own, though treatment may be required.

Inguinal hernias occur in the lower abdomen, and they are the most common type of hernias in adults. In pregnancy, they are caused by pressure placed onto the groin area.

Is it possible to prevent hernias after pregnancy?

It isn’t always possible to prevent a hernia after pregnancy. However, there are some things you can do to minimise the risk.

Ensuring you give your body plenty of time to heal after giving birth is a good preventative measure. However, with a new baby to care for this is often easier said than done! Don’t be afraid to enlist help from others while you recover, particularly if you have undergone a C-Section procedure.

Avoid lifting heavy objects and vigorous exercise until you have fully recovered. If you experience constipation after giving birth, switch to a high-fibre diet and consider using natural stool softeners. This will help to prevent a hernia developing due to excess pressure.

Treatment options available

Initially, you may be told to wait a while before undergoing any form of treatment for a postpartum hernia. If the hernia is quite small, there is a chance it could heal by itself as the muscles become stronger.

If the hernia does not go away, or if it is quite large, a hernia repair procedure may be required. Most hernia repairs are minimally invasive, using mesh to strengthen the area. There is a risk that a hernia reappears, though most hernia repairs are successful.

If you have a hernia after pregnancy that isn’t going away by itself, book a consultation with Mr Woodward today.

If you are scheduled to undergo an inguinal hernia repair, you may be wondering if it is better to use local or general anaesthetic. Both have pros and cons, but ultimately Mr Woodward will determine which is right for you.

Here, we will look at whether a local anaesthetic could be the best option. You will also learn more about the inguinal hernia repair process.

What is an inguinal hernia repair?

Inguinal hernias are the most common types of hernia which most patients develop. Appearing as a lump or swelling within the groin, they can cause pain and discomfort. An inguinal hernia repair aims to eliminate the hernia through surgery.

The goal of the surgery is to push the bulge back into its correct position. The weakened abdominal wall will then be strengthened to prevent a future hernia. However, there is a risk it could return later on.

There are two different surgical methods that can be used including open and laparoscopic procedures. The type of anaesthetic used will depend upon the method being carried out.

Which type of anaesthetic is typically used?

Both local and general anaesthetic may be used in an Inguinal hernia repair. Local anaesthesia keeps you awake during the procedure, whereas general anaesthetic puts you to sleep.

There are advantages and disadvantages of both, but with local anaesthetic the recovery is typically quicker.

A recent study revealed local anaesthetic was the best choice for the procedure due to its cost effectiveness, reduced pain after the procedure, and quicker recovery. It looked at the safety of using local anaesthetic in emergency inguinal hernia repairs.

The results of the study showed that local anaesthetic was just as safe in emergency procedures, especially when the possibility of bowel resection is limited.

Which type of anaesthetic is right for you?

The type of anaesthetic used in an inguinal hernia repair will greatly depend on a few factors. Mr Woodward will discuss with you your different treatment options during the consultation, when you can also talk about any concerns and ask questions.

It is important to note that both local and general anaesthetics are safe to use. There may be some benefits of opting for local anaesthetic in certain types of repairs, but Mr Woodward can advise which type would be most suited to your hernia repair.

Book a consultation with Mr Woodward to discuss your hernia repair anaesthetic options.

A swollen scrotum can be alarming, but most of the time it is a harmless, treatable problem. You may notice swelling of the entire scrotum, or small lumps on one side. Some patients find it painful, while others do not experience any pain at all.

There are a number of potential causes of a swollen scrotum. Here, we will look at the common causes and whether a hernia could be a culprit. Remember, any swelling and lumps on the scrotum should be checked over by a doctor. While most of the time it is harmless, in rare cases it could point to cancer.

What are the main causes of a swollen scrotum?

Several things can cause the scrotum to swell up. Some of the most common causes include:

  • Hydroceles and hernias
  • Cysts
  • Varicoceles
  • Injuries
  • Tumours

Hydroceles and hernias tend to be the most common causes. Hydroceles occur when fluid builds up around the testicles. It is common at birth, with approximately 10% of males born with a hydrocele. However, they can also occur later on in life, often for no apparent reason.

An inguinal hernia can develop when part of the intestine drops into the scrotum with the testes. They also occur in around 1% to 5% of males at birth, particularly premature infants. As you age, hernias can also be caused by a weakness within the groin.

Cysts are small soft lumps filled with fluid. They can vary in size, and larger cysts can place pressure on the scrotum. While they can occur due to infection or injury, in most cases the cause is unclear.

Varicoceles is a collection of swollen veins within the scrotum. They can develop in puberty, potentially slowing down the growth of one testicle. Occasionally, they can cause issues with fertility.

Sometimes, injuries can lead to swelling within the scrotum. If you experience an injury to the groin, it can cause significant swelling which should subside within a few days.

Finally, in rare cases a swollen scrotum could indicate a tumour. This is especially rare in children under the age of 15. It tends to mostly affect men aged 20-34, though testicular cancer is one of the less common types. With that being said, you should always get a swollen scrotum looked over to rule out cancer.

Symptoms to watch out for

So, now you know the causes of a swollen scrotum, what symptoms should you be looking out for?

Cysts are usually pain-free. You won’t have difficulty relieving the bowels or bladder, and they won’t become infected. With Varicoceles, you won’t typically notice any symptoms. In some cases, they can cause a little pain and discomfort.

If the cause is Hydroceles, it typically doesn’t lead to any symptoms. Some men do experience a full or heavy sensation within the scrotum, however.

With a hernia, unexplained swelling is the number one symptom. If the bulging intestine enters the scrotum, it can also cause pain. Hernias do not go away on their own and may grow in time, so surgery is recommended to treat them.

These are some of the main causes and symptoms of a swollen scrotum you should be aware of. If it is a hernia, there are some great treatment options available. So if you are experiencing pain or discomfort, book a consultation with Mr Woodward today.

With spring well and truly underway, you might be gearing up for that annual spring clean. While giving the home or garage a thorough seasonal clean can be great for the mind and body, it can also lead to muscle strain injuries.

Some people have even brought on a hernia doing a spring clean. So, why could cleaning the home cause or aggravate a hernia?

What causes a hernia?

Hernias develop when fatty tissue or an organ pushes through weak spots in surrounding tissue or muscle. There are different types of hernias you can develop, such as inguinal, femoral, and hiatal. Inguinal hernias are the most common, affecting the inner groin. They tend to be more common in men who are naturally weaker within this area.

There are many causes of hernias with some of the most common including:

  • Constipation or diarrhoea
  • Incorrect lifting of heavy objects
  • Persistent sneezing or coughing

Smoking, a poor diet, and obesity all cause the muscles to weaken, increasing the risk of developing a hernia.

All hernias are basically caused by pressure placed onto the weakened muscles and tissue. So, vigorous exercise could also contribute; particularly if you are getting back to exercise after a long period of time off.

The danger of exercising with an existing hernia

While it is possible to work out safely with a hernia, it can be potentially dangerous. Ideally, you should get the hernia repaired before you consider regular exercise. You should also be especially wary of carrying out core exercises which put a strain on the abdomen.

What are your treatment options?

If you are diagnosed with a hernia, there are several treatment options available. Surgery tends to be most effective, and there are a number of techniques the surgeon can use.

Laparoscopic techniques are minimally invasive procedures that allow the surgeon to work through small incisions. This type of procedure tends to result in a shorter recovery time, and fewer complications. However, not all patients will be suitable candidates for this type of surgery.

Another option is open surgery. This type of procedure is especially ideal for patients who have large or several hernias. Those who have had abdominal surgery previously may also need the open technique. This is because using a minimally invasive technique could prove dangerous due to the scar tissue left over from the previous surgery.

With both techniques, mesh is typically used to reinforce and secure the hernia. This helps to prevent the issue from recurring. Not all hernia repairs will require mesh, but your surgeon will let you know what your surgery will involve.

So, if you are planning on doing a spring clean, be mindful not to do it too strenuously. If you do have a hernia, it is important to get it repaired as soon as possible to prevent it from worsening. Hernias do not get better on their own.

Book a consultation and speak to Mr Alan Woodward if you have any questions about hernia surgery.

Despite the ongoing pandemic, hernia operations have still been going ahead. While most of the time hernias are not serious, if left untreated they can lead to more serious complications. This is something that actress Kym Marsh recently discovered.

Kym Marsh has recently undergone a double hernia op after she was found to have two different types of hernia. The actress had an inguinal and a femoral hernia, both of which were removed through keyhole surgery.

What are inguinal and femoral hernias?

Inguinal and femoral are just two types of hernias you can develop. The main differences between them are the location they tend to develop and who develops them.

Inguinal hernias mostly develop in men at the top of the inner thigh, poking through the groin. They are situated within the inguinal canal area. Femoral hernias are also found on the top of the inner thigh, poking through the groin. However, they are most commonly found in women within the femoral canal area.

There is a higher risk of complications with femoral hernias than with inguinal hernias. This means they should be treated quickly.

Understanding hernia surgery

If surgery is recommended, it can either be carried out via open surgery or through a laparoscopic procedure. Kym underwent the laparoscopic technique which is less invasive but also more difficult to perform. The actress suffered complications due to the procedure, such as pain caused by the instruments used.

The open surgery method involves creating an incision so the surgeon can gain direct access to the hernia. It is then pushed back into place. Larger hernias will typically need a mesh inserted to provide support.

Mr Woodward will discuss your surgery options during your consultation. It is important to take into account the risks and complications of each method before deciding which one is right for you.

Getting back to fitness with post-hernia exercises

After undergoing a hernia operation, once the body recovers it is important to carry out post-hernia exercises. These will help to strengthen the abdomen after surgery, helping you to get your fitness back.

Sit to stand is a great gentle exercise you can do. This involves sitting on the edge of a chair before activating your core muscles. Lean forward, placing your torso over your legs. Then, extend your legs and stand up, keeping the weight within your feet. Repeat this exercise several times during the day.

Seated knee extensions and forward lunges are also good abdomen strengthening exercises you can carry out. You should always speak to the surgeon prior to undergoing any form of exercise. They will be able to tell you whether or not the exercises are suitable for you.

After undergoing a hernia operation, it is important to rest the body in accordance with your surgeon’s instructions. However, once you are recovering, introducing gentle exercise back into your life will help to build up your abdominal strength. Speak to Mr Alan Woodward if you have any questions about getting back to fitness after hernia surgery.

After undergoing hernia repair surgery, the body needs time to rest and heal. Whether you undergo open surgery or a laparoscopic hernia repair, it is important to focus on your recovery if you want to experience best results.

During your recovery, there are gentle exercises you can do to strengthen your abdominal muscles. Here, you’ll learn everything you need to know about strengthening your muscles after surgery.

Understanding the different hernia repair surgery methods

The surgery repair method used will determine what type of recovery you can expect. With open surgery, an incision will be made within the groin. The hernia is then identified, and it will be pushed back into the abdomen before the abdominal wall is strengthened with mesh or stitches. You will typically need to wait for 4-6 weeks before you can return to strenuous exercise.

With laparoscopic surgery, a small incision will be made at the belly button. A laparoscope which is connected to a small camera, will then be inserted. A harmless gas will be used to inflate the abdomen, giving the surgeon space to clearly see your internal structure. The inner lining of the abdomen will be cut to reveal the weakness in the wall. Mesh is placed on the inner wall to cover up the weakness and strengthen the tissues. Unlike open surgery, the recovery period here will be days, rather than weeks.

Can hernia type impact recovery?

The type of hernia you are repairing can impact recovery time. For example, incisional hernias can take longer to repair, which would increase the time you need to wait before you can return to normal activities.

You can discuss how long the recovery is likely to take, based upon the type of hernia you have, with the surgeon. They will provide full aftercare advice, letting you know when you can return to normal activities.

Whichever type of hernia you have, and which surgery method is used to repair it, you will be advised to avoid strenuous activities for up to six weeks.

Gentle exercises you can do to strengthen the muscles after surgery

If you want to speed up your recovery, there are some gentle exercises you can do to strengthen the muscles. Before trying any of the exercises mentioned, it is important to discuss them with the surgeon. They will be able to tell you whether the exercises are safe.

The sit-to-stand exercise is a good one to get started with. Simply sit down on the edge of a chair, activating the core muscles. Then, lean forwards so your torso is over your legs, keeping the weight onto the feet. Extend your legs to stand up fully. You can repeat this simple exercise several times throughout the day.

Pelvic floor exercises, seated knee extensions and forward lunges are also good exercises to try. Remember, start off slowly and don’t push yourself. Listen to your body, and your surgeon, in order to build up your abdominal muscle strength safely.

January is the time most people focus on ramping up their workout routine. However, for those living with a hernia, they need to be careful not to aggravate the condition.

Working out when you have a hernia can be both painful and dangerous. Here, we’ll look at whether it is safe to exercise with a hernia, and the key things you’ll want to keep in mind.

Is it safe to exercise with a hernia?

While caution should be taken, it can be safe to exercise with a hernia. However, there are certain exercises that should be avoided. Understanding which exercises you should avoid is key to working out safely.

Another thing to keep in mind is that it is advisable to work out under the guidance of an accredited physiotherapist or qualified personal trainer. They will be able to show you which exercises are safe.

Generally speaking, the following exercises should be avoided:

  • Crunches and other core exercises
  • Contact sports
  • Heavy lifting exercises

The above exercises can put extra pressure onto the abdomen, causing the hernia to worsen. So, it’s important to focus on exercises that produce low intra-abdominal pressure.

Understanding the different types of hernias

Another thing that affects the exercise you should do is the type of hernia you have. There are six main types but the most common is the Inguinal hernia. It is estimated that around 25% of men will suffer from this type of hernia in their lifetime. It occurs in the groin area.

Femoral hernias are less common and mostly develop in women. They also occur in the groin and they can be a cause for concern due to the high chances of bowel strangulation. Exercising with this type of hernia can be dangerous so it is advised patients undergo surgery to remove it before partaking in a workout routine.

It is important to establish what type of hernia you are dealing with before you come up with an exercise plan.

Tips for working out with a hernia

There are some tips you can follow to ensure your safety when exercising with a hernia. Avoiding the exercises mentioned earlier is the first thing to remember. The main exercises you should focus on include things like aerobic exercise, glute bridges and postural strengthening exercises.

Making sure you don’t overdo it is also essential. You should take it easier on yourself until the hernia has been repaired.

Unfortunately, there is always a risk that hernias will worsen when you start working out. Therefore, it is advised that patients seek treatment for their hernia prior to heavy exercise. This is the only way to guarantee your safety.

Book a consultation today to see which treatment plan would be best to eliminate your hernia.

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