When there is a problem in in the muscle adjoining the abdomen, it is called a spigelian hernia. This type of hernia is usually small, but can still cause lots of discomfort. It is most common for the hernia to develop on the right side of people ranging in age from 40 to 70 years old. However, this type of hernia is also fairly rare.
The hernia starts when there is a gap in the wall of the abdomen. The sac that forms the hernia pushes through the muscle and spreads out underneath as well, which is what causes great discomfort. Because it is a rare condition and they are very small, spigelian hernias as difficult to diagnose. In fact, they account for less than half a percent of abdominal hernias.
If you have a spigelian hernia, you may have several symptoms or none at all. Sometimes the only reason a hernia of this type is discovered is because the individual has an ultrasound to look for another problem that is causing them discomfort or health concern. If you do experience symptoms, the most common one is that there is a lump in the lower abdomen that may come and go. It is small and may barely be noticeable but there is often pain in the immediate area, which can make activity uncomfortable for the individual suffering with the hernia.
If your doctor suspects you have this type of hernia, you can expect them to arrange an ultrasound or perhaps a CT scan to examine the area.
If it turns out that you do have a spigelian hernia, treatment will follow. Treatment usually involves a very minor surgery. In some cases, if the hernia is exceptionally bad, mesh prosthesis may be required. Many doctors believe that endoscopy is the best option to treat this type of hernia. Endoscopy requires very little recovery time and does not require mesh. The hernia sac can be cut and closed without any major complications.
In some cases, doctors will prefer to use a trans-peritoneal approach instead. They do this by putting mesh in the hernia location to fill the gap and prevent further occurrences of the hernia. Although it is rare, without mesh hernias can reoccur if patients are not careful. After hernia surgery, there is a three year period that the patient must make follow up visits and take extra care not to put strain on the area to help prevent reoccurrence of the hernia.