On average, it costs $384 for Alex's treatment
- Impact on patient's life
- Cultural or regional significance
What kinds of symptoms do patients experience before receiving treatment?
A hernia occurs when a portion of the intestine protrudes through the lower abdominal wall, usually for one of two reasons. The first is a congenital abnormality in which the tissues did not close. The second is excessive stress in an adult, often due to heavy physical labor or pregnancy.
Patients experience a bulge or lump in the affected area. The hernia may cause the patient to feel pain, discomfort, weakness, pressure, and sensations of heaviness or aching. These symptoms are often exacerbated when the patient coughs, bends over, or lifts heavy objects. In some cases, hernias have no symptoms and are only detected during routine medical exams.
What is the impact on patients’ lives of living with these conditions?
Patients with uncomplicated hernias may experience only annoyance or discomfort. As the hernia opening expands, the discomfort will increase. Small openings are more likely to trap the intestine, potentially leading to intestinal damage or death.
What cultural or regional factors affect the treatment of these conditions?
Hernias are common in Africa. People often do very hard physical labor and lift heavy objects. Women tend to have more children than those in the United States. It is possible that some hernias have infectious or genetic causes.
- Impact on patient's life
- Risks and side-effects
What does the treatment process look like?
Surgery lasts for three to eight hours, depending on the age of the patient and the severity of the hernia. The patient will stay in the hospital anywhere from two days to eight weeks, again depending on the age of the patient and the severity of the hernia. The patient is continually monitored.
What is the impact of this treatment on the patient’s life?
Treatment is curative. The chance of intestinal strangulation or bowel obstruction reduces significantly.
What potential side effects or risks come with this treatment?
Hernia repair is not a risky procedure, and it comes with few side effects.
How accessible is treatment in the area? What is the typical journey like for a patient to receive care?
Many patients will ignore a hernia until it becomes uncomfortable and seek care at that time. Some people will wear tighter pants or a tight band around the waist to prevent the intestine from protruding.
What are the alternatives to this treatment?
If the hernia is not “stuck,” patients tend to ignore it and adapt to living with it. However, this could lead to future complications.