Is this a Hidden Hernia?

Hidden Hernias and Women

What is a Hidden Hernia?

A hernia is a hole through the muscle wall that is made worse by something going through it. The tissue within the hernia may be fat or the intestines – these are some of the most common – as well as the stomach, ovaries, or bladder. Inguinal hernias, which are located in the groin, are relatively common among men and are easy to diagnose with a simple inspection.

However, hidden hernias can also emerge that present very few visible symptoms.

Hidden hernias are much more common among women than men. In many cases, the hernia causes no obvious bulge, but the pain is more intense than that generally experienced by men. It is often difficult for non-specialist physicians to diagnose the problem accurately.

What Are the Symptoms of a Hidden Hernia?

A hidden hernia can cause intense pelvic pain. Patients often report stabbing pain that radiates down into the legs and the lower back. Additional symptoms include lower abdominal bloating, pain in the bladder accompanied by urgency to urinate, vaginal pain and burning. The issue is often misdiagnosed as a more common chronic condition such as endometriosis, ovarian cysts, or fibroids.

How Does a Doctor Diagnose a Hidden Hernia?

A hidden hernia is identified in part by the presence of a point of tenderness located about two thirds of the way from the hip bone. A health history is also valuable: A hernia may be indicated by pain that worsens during certain activities.

Some situations that may make hidden hernia pain worse include:

  • Coughing
  • Laughing
  • Getting out of bed
  • Certain types of exercise
  • Anything that causes abdominal pressure

If a hernia is believed to be the main issue, an MRI can help your doctor pinpoint its exact location. An ultrasound can also be used to detect a hernia and is usually the most inexpensive option. No matter the case, hernias can be overlooked unless the physician checks for them specifically.

What Are the Treatment Options and Long-Term Outcomes After Being Diagnosed?

Not all hernias need to be repaired, but hernia repair surgery can significantly improve quality of life for those who find they suffer daily (or frequent) impairment as a result of their condition.

A successful hernia repair surgery will greatly reduce, and in many cases completely eliminate, the symptoms involved. However, it’s important to maintain appropriate follow-up care, since there can be some complications from the procedure itself.

Chronic pain may be experienced for a variety of reasons, including faulty mesh or suturing, localized inflammation, or the response of nerves in the surrounding area. To avoid all of these issues, it is essential to choose an expert surgeon with many years of experience.

Dr. Mark Reiner is one of New York’s most distinguished and experienced leaders in the highly specialized field of hernia surgery. With the help of his compassionate staff, he provides world-class care. We are pioneers in the latest tools and techniques for hernia care. To find out more or set an appointment, contact us todayFill out the form on this page to request an appointment or call 212.879.6677 to learn more.


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