It’s a common belief that men are the ones who get hernias. That may be true, at least in who currently has surgery to repair an inguinal hernia, but it may not be true overall.
Many women can have what is known as a hidden hernia. This is a tiny tear in the abdominal wall that can be excruciatingly painful. Unfortunately, most doctors aren’t versed in these injuries, so the woman’s pain goes misdiagnosed as being due to other conditions. As a result, the patient’s pain remains.
As a hernia specialist, Dr. Jacob can diagnose hidden hernias and he then repairs them using laparoscopic methods.
What is a hidden hernia?
Statistics show that about 90 percent of typical inguinal hernia repairs involve men. An average case would be a tear in the abdominal wall large enough to allow fat or intestine to squeeze through the tear into the underlying inguinal canal. This usually creates the telltale bulge of a inguinal hernia.
But there is a question if those statistics represent the true number of female hernias, since so many practitioners aren’t trained in finding the more subtle tears that can be a hidden hernia. It’s estimated that from 12 to 20 percent of women suffer from chronic pelvic pain, but less than half ever get relief as doctors are unable to identify or diagnose the source of the pain. Hidden hernias, or femoral hernias, can be one of those causes.
The problem with hidden hernias is that they cannot be felt. There isn’t the telltale bulge that doctors see with male patients.
Diagnosing hidden hernias
Dr. Jacob has such extensive experience with all types of hernias that he doesn’t automatically lean toward a diagnosis. He hears the patient’s symptoms and history of pain. When did this start? Was it a following specific movement? If the patient’s pain merits an MRI, regardless of if the hernia can be felt or not, that’s the next step. Also, Dr. Jacob can use laparoscopic methods to find a hidden hernia that doesn’t show up on an MRI. And he can repair it at the same time.
If you’re a woman who has suffered from chronic, enduring pelvic pain and has been through specialist after specialist without anyone finding the source of your pain, it could be a hidden hernia. If the above scenario at all sounds like your situation, please call Dr. Jacob at NYC Hernia, 212-879-6677.