Hernia in COVID 19 Era

Hernia is a common term that most of the people have heard from somewhere or the other. However, very few of them know what it actually is and the grave complications it can lead to. We have seen large number of patients visiting hospitals with complicated hernia and undergoing emergency surgery during this COVID pandemic. This unplanned surgery can be associated with number of complication. It can cause prolonged hospitalization, ICU
stay and grave consequences at times. In addition, treatment cost is getting significantly heavier on the pocket
of patient as well. Therefore, it is important to educate general population to deal with it in an appropriate manner in time.

What is hernia?

It is a bulge or swelling over our abdominal wall or groin area that occurs due to weakness of soft tissue or abdominal muscles. Any bulge that is present at the site of scar of previous surgery should never be ignored. Invariably it is hernia in majority.

How will I know I am having hernia?

If the swelling increases in size on strenuous work like lifting some heavy object, coughing or running and decreases in size on taking rest, hernia should be suspected. It is usually associated with dull pain and size of this swelling increase
with time.

When should I consult a surgeon?

Any bugle or swelling over the above mentioned or for that matter anywhere in the body area warrants a surgical consultation.

How serious is this condition?

Hernia can remain just as a bulge with or without occasional mild pain in some individuals for many years and people may not even notice or ignore even if it is noticed. Having said that, a lot of people come to emergency with severe pain and non-reducible swelling. It is a complicated situation warranting emergency operation. This situation may sometimes require removal of a part of gut or intra-abdominal fat and at times may also require another planned surgery at a later date.

When should I plan hernia surgery?

It is advisable to undergo surgery whenever this condition is detected as patient can land up in complication if not taken care in time.

Dr. Vivek Bindal

Dr. Vivek Bindal Director & Head -Institute of Minimal Access, Bariatric, and Robotic Surgery