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Hernias Treatment

Hernias- Symptoms, Risk and Treatments for the Elderly

Whilst a Hernia can happen at any age, they are more common among the elderly.  Left untreated, a Hernia can result in serious health complications, including debilitating pain, an infection and blood loss.

 

What is a Hernia?

A Hernia occurs when there is a weakness in the tissues responsible for holding your organs in place.  These tissues can tear, and this can lead to your organs pushing through the weakened spots in your abdominal wall.  Treatment is usually simple and effective; however, it is important to identify a Hernia and have it taken care of quickly.

 

How is a Hernia caused?

A Hernia is acquired through a result of strenuous activity, or they are congenital – a birth defect that can cause issues in later life, if not corrected with surgery as a child.

Acquired Hernias can result from previous surgeries or injuries.  Even something as seemingly simple as a coughing fit can create a Hernia, so it’s important to be aware of the signs.

 

Symptoms of a Hernia

  • Dull ache around mid-section.
  • Pain whilst lifting.
  • Feeling full without much food consumption.
  • Digestive upset, such as constipation.
  • Swelling, pain or a visible bulge/lump at the site of protrusion.

The size of the bulge will increase as the Hernia develops, which in turn will become more painful and a more serious risk for complications.

 

Risk Factors:

  • Those that have a family history of Hernias, need to be aware of any discomfort in the midsection or any unusual protrusions.
  • Age! The older you are, the more likely you are to have weaker core muscles and therefore the easier it is for soft tissue to push through your abdominal wall.

 

Treatments:

Hernias rarely get better on their own, therefore the only effective and lasting treatment for a Hernia is surgical repair.  This is a common procedure, and many Hernia operations are performed within an hour as outpatient procedures.  Mesh patches are placed over the abdominal wall to keep soft tissue in the correct position.  Surgical repair is 99% at preventing recurrence, and recovery is usually only a few days.

 

Prevention:

Doing exercises to strengthen core muscles, keeping at a healthy weight and wearing loose clothing can reduce the risk of developing a future hernia.

 

A number of our Homestyle residents have had Hernia Surgery and are able to participate in our activities and excursions. We are able to adjust their activity accordingly in our Lifestyle Program to accommodate this.  If you would like more details, or to contact one of our homes, please call us on (03) 9559 0400 or email us here.

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