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Sometimes known as a lateral ventral hernia, a spigelian hernia is a type of hernia that develops through the spigelian fascia. Unlike many hernias that thrive just below layers of fat, a spigelian hernia occurs in between the muscles found in the abdominal wall. Because of the nature of this type of hernia, there is often little outward evidence of swelling, making it possible for the health issue to go undetected for longer periods of time.
Often beginning somewhere along the linea semilunaris, a line of tissue situated on each side the rectus abdominis, the causes for this condition are similar to the health issues that lead to most other types of hernias. The condition may develop due to a weakening of the abdominal wall later in life, injury, or prolonged periods of physical stress. Men and women tend to exhibit an equal opportunity to experience a health condition of the nature. Unlike other hernias, the spigelian kind can often be mistaken for some other type of abdominal problem.
There are a few symptoms that may indicate the presence of a spigelian hernia. Recurring pain in the immediate area, following by a period of constant, dull pain is a common indicator. A sudden decrease in the proper function of the bowels, especially one that lasts for more than a day or two, is also a strong sign. While the protrusion may be very small, it may be visible in people with relatively little fat in the abdominal area and will tend to be soft to the touch.
The most common treatment for this condition is to undergo surgery to repair the damage caused. Depending on the severity of the damage, the surgeon may utilize some type of mesh to reinforce the weakened abdominal wall and thus decrease the opportunity for a recurrence.
It is important to note that a hernia of this type can cause a great deal of damage if left untreated. The spigelian hernia may develop in a location where the bowels are in effect strangulated, or cause some type of obstruction in the colon. Both these situations can lead to the deterioration of both organs and eventually cause complete failure
Fortunately, a spigelian hernia is a relatively rare occurrence. In most instances, the condition does not develop before the age of 40 and is more likely to occur after the age of 50. The hernia is also more likely to develop on the right side of the abdomen rather than the left.