A hernia is a clinical condition characterized by protrusion of viscera through a weak point in the muscular wall of its containing cavity. Hernia mainly occurs in abdominal cavity. Bilateral hernia is a bulge on both the sides of the body. Usually inguinal hernias are bilateral; they develop on both sides of lower abdomen. They are also known as groin hernia. Both men and women can suffer from bilateral inguinal hernia, but the percentage of its prevalence is more in men as compared to female.
In groin hernia a part of intestine and tissues of abdominal cavity projects into the inguinal canal from a tear in abdominal muscle wall.The muscles of abdominal wall can become weak at certain point due to persistent cough, repeated strenuous exercise or heavy lifting, chronic constipation, etc. All these factors can lead bilateral inguinal hernia.
Surgical repair is the permanent solution for bilateral hernia, although conservative method such as wearing a truss is an effective way to reduce the symptoms.
Causes Of Bilateral Inguinal Hernia
Hernia is said to be bilateral when the bulge develops on both sides of the body. Bilateral hernia are common in inguinal region (groin area), they are thus called bilateral inguinal hernia.The bulge or protrusion is evident on both the sides of pubic bone.
Whether bilateral or unilateral, a hernia develops due to weakness in the muscle wall of abdomen. The abdominal contents such as intestine or soft tissue protrude downwards into the inguinal canal in groin area through a weakened spot in the muscle wall. Weakness can develop during the developmental stage of fetus or it may occur later in life due to stress in the abdomen.
The muscle wall of abdomen can become weak due to strain such as frequent lifting of heavy weight, performing strenuous activities, frequent cough, constipation, weight gain, pregnancy, etc.Bilateral hernia affects more men than women, probably because the way testicles develop in males during the fetal stage.
Signs And Symptoms Of Bilateral Hernia
Bilateral hernia is most noticeable by its appearance. Presence of bulge on both sides of lower abdomen is suggestive of bilateral hernia. The protrusion increases in size on slightest pressure in the abdomen. It may increase and reach up to scrotum while coughing and standing. Sometimes it can be painful and sensitive to touch. The bulge on one side may be more than on the other side, or it may be symmetrical.
There is persistent heavy sensation in the inguinal region. Pain may be one sided or on both the sides. It is exaggerated during exertion or while lifting weight. Hernia may become strangulated and the content is unable to recede back into the abdomen.
Strangulated hernia causes severe pain on the affected side along with other symptoms such as vomiting and in worst cases fever, rapid heartbeat and gangrene of the intestine may occur. The inguinal area will become red and inflamed.
Treatment For Bilateral Hernia
Hernia in its initial stage may not produce pain. However, if the condition is left untreated, hernia can grow in size and start paining even with simple act of coughing or lifting slight weight or sneezing. Hernia can become serious or life threatening if the intestine or contents of abdomen gets trapped in the inguinal canal. This may disrupt the blood supply of the entrapped part of the intestine leading to gangrene (strangulated hernia).
Surgical repair of bilateral hernia is the best mode of treatment. However, if hernia is small in size and if it can be pushed back in the abdomen (reducible), than the doctor may suggest wearing supportive truss. It is an appliance which gives good support to the hernia by putting pressure on the groin area and preventing the bulge to slide down into the inguinal canal and the scrotum. Also avoid smoking, constipation, and lifting heavy weight.