What is Non Obstructed Inguinal Hernia?

A non obstructed inguinal hernia is a type of hernia which is reducible which means that the doctors can push back the hernia to its original place by applying manual pressure on it.

Non obstructed inguinal hernia may be a new term to you, or rather you may have heard this a many times. Whichever way non obstructed inguinal hernia is a condition that might never bother you but with time it may become a nuisance. It is caused by the weakening of the abdominal wall. Non obstructed inguinal hernia is more common in premature male infants/babies than in female babies. However non obstructed inguinal hernia repair is a type of operation carried out especially on premature infants. It is most effective if it is carried out shortly before the infant is discharged from the hospital so that it is reduced and cannot cause future problems.

Causes of Non Obstructed Inguinal Hernia

Can a Non Obstructed Inguinal Hernia Lead to Strangulated Hernia?

Ignoring a non obstructed inguinal hernia for a long time might lead to incarcerated hernia and strangulated hernia. There exists something like incarcerated hernia and it can consequently lead to a strangulated hernia. This happens when you cannot force the hernia back a coil of intestine will be incarcerated in the human inguinal wall. And this incarcerated hernia may later lead to strangulated hernia that hinders blood transfer to the intestines. To resume blood transfer to the bowels surgery must be done since this condition is life threatening.

Facts about Non Obstructed Inguinal Hernia

  • Non obstructed inguinal hernia causes swelling in the inguinal region but there will be no pain.
  • The painless swelling may spread to the scrotum in men or labia in women and it also brings about endurance of a wide processus vaginalis accompanying bowel herniation or herniation of ovary in females.
  • This condition is most common in the male gender though it affects a small percent of the female gender (about 12 percent). But it can be controlled/ reduced through non obstructed inguinal hernia operation.
  • Premature infants are the main target of this condition as well as the infants that have an elevated intra inguinal pressure. Most probably they will feel an impulse on crying, straining or even coughing.
  • Defining the highest point of the swelling is quite complex. The lump is liable of passing strong light and the abnormality can be detected.

Causes of Non Obstructed Inguinal Hernia

Some non obstructed inguinal hernias do not have an established cause but others are likely to be caused by conditions such as pregnancy, chronic coughing or sneezing, overweight, lifting heavy objects, straining when urinating and during a bowel movement, fluid in the abdomen and a combination of a prior weak point in the inguinal wall and increased burden inside the human abdomen.

You can develop non obstructed inguinal hernia in your old age or even as an infant. Old age comes with weak muscles due to physical activities that involve a lot of straining or even chronic coughing. It may worsen also due to smoking. Infants develop non obstructed inguinal hernia during birth in case the abdominal covering does not close properly.

In women the uterus is usually held in place by a ligament and this ligament is carried by the inguinal channel and hernia is likely to occur where the connective tendon from the uterus joins the tissue around pubic bone though. Non obstructed inguinal hernia is mostly observed in men where the weak point occurs in the inguinal channel. And this is where the spermatic cord enters the scrotum.

Non Obstructed Inguinal Hernia is More Common in Males

Male babies are more prone to non obstructed inguinal hernia than female infants. This weak point that occurs in the inguinal channel is inherent due to the kind of development males adapt before birth. During the development of a male baby the testicles are usually formed inside the human abdomen & later transfer to the inguinal channel then to the scrotum. After the male child is born the inguinal channel shuts down leaving a small space enough to allow a spermatic string to go through. However the space cannot allow the testicles of the baby to go back into the inguinal channel. In case the inguinal channel fails to close properly, it will definitely leave a weak area. Unlike in female infants where the probabilities of the inguinal channel not to close is next to zero. However even if you do not have a prior weak spot any extra pressure to your abdomen can as well cause non obstructed inguinal hernia.

Signs and Symptoms of Non Obstructed Inguinal Hernia

For non obstructed inguinal hernia to be discovered a medical exam must be conducted since it do not cause any signs and symptoms. Otherwise non obstructed inguinal hernia creates a bulge that can be felt and even seen especially when standing, coughing or even straining. However it has some signs and symptoms such as:

  • An aching sensation at the bulge which is on either side of the pubic bone.
  • Extreme pain when bending over, straining, coughing or lifting on your groin. The groin too will have a kind of dragging sensation. And it will have a lot of pressure if not weakness.
  • You may also be having pain and swelling around the testicles in case the protruding intestines goes down to the scrotum.

Tests to Diagnose Non Obstructed Inguinal Hernia

Non obstructed inguinal hernia can be diagnosed using your family history since it can be inheritable. If any of your family members had developed non obstructed inguinal hernia, the chances are that you are likely to develop the same problem.

  1. Physical Examination for Non Obstructed Inguinal Hernia

    Physical examination by health care provider will also help determine if you have developed non obstructed inguinal hernia. For instance you may be asked to stand upright and the doctor will try to feel the bulge caused by non obstructed inguinal hernia for it will move in the groin or in the scrotum and the doctor may try to massage the bulge back to its initial position and that is in the abdomen. You may also be asked to strain, cough or sneeze for the hernia is more visible then. He/ she can then examine your inguinal region.

  2. Imaging Tests for Non Obstructed Inguinal Hernia

    Image tests like X-ray can also be used but only if what is being diagnosed is strangulation or incarceration type of hernia and not exclusively for non obstructed inguinal hernia. At other times a non obstructed inguinal hernia cannot be felt in a physical examination especially if you are overweight thus the doctor can only use image tests.

    They are also ideal when the doctor is not certain about the cause of swelling in your inguinal region are because of non obstructed inguinal hernia or other symptoms. Just to ensure that they treat you the right disease they have to carry out some tests.

    Otherwise the doctors will have to ask you some questions regarding non obstructed inguinal hernia which you should become prepared to comment. Some of those questions include:

    • When did the symptoms of non obstructed inguinal hernia begin and are they getting worse or better?
    • When coughing, sneezing or standing upright have you noticed any bulge in the inguinal region?
    • Is there a family history of non obstructed inguinal hernia or do you have long term constipation?
    • Or have you been pregnant or smoking?

    Such questions will help the health care provider devise the means to help you out.

    Image tests are carried out by a radiologist. Such doctors can carry a number of image tests for diagnosing non obstructed inguinal hernia such as;

    • Abdominal X Ray to diagnose non obstructed inguinal hernia. Actually this is an image that is usually recorded on a film or a computer with minimal radiation. For this X ray to be done you have to lie on the table or stand upright, and then the X ray machine will be positioned on your abdominal area. During this exercise you will be needed to hold your breath so that the image gets clear enough. In addition you may be required to take different positions for more pictures. The radiologist will take the pictures for interpretation.
    • Computerized Tomography (CT) Scan can be used for diagnosing non obstructed inguinal hernia. This is a more advanced test since it uses both computer technology & also X rays to produce images. In a CT scan case you will be required to lay on a bench which moves inside a tunnel shaped machine at which place the X ray will be taken from. You may also be given a drinking solution and a contrast medium injection, which is injected into your vein. This injection is meant to warm up your body for roughly two minutes. This contrast medium will allow your doctor to see the blood vessels and the blood flow on the X rays.
    • Abdominal Ultrasound can be carried for diagnosing non obstructed inguinal hernia. This uses a certain devise known as transducer which produces safe and sound waves and are directed on to the organs & show the image of the organ structure.

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Last Modified On: June 13, 2016

Pain Assist Inc.

Pramod Kerkar
  Note: Information provided is not a substitute for physician, hospital or any form of medical care. Examination and Investigation is necessary for correct diagnosis.

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