How to Spot a Hernia

A hernia is a bulge or lump that results from a weak spot in a muscle or tissue. An organ pushes through the weakened area, causing discomfort and potential complications. Hernias occur in your abdomen, groin, belly button, or chest — they may even appear in your thigh.

Usually a hernia doesn’t hurt, but you will notice a lump. This is a good indication you have a hernia.

Hernias don’t discriminate. They can show up in women, men, babies, and children.

People who are overweight, regularly lift weights, strain when using the restroom, or have a persistent, nagging cough are at particular risk. At Trinity Bariatric Institute, we can help you manage a hernia, and Dr. Dyslin offers surgery when necessary.

Look for these symptoms of a hernia to prevent serious complications.

Bulge that grows over time

Think of a hernia like a bulge in a tire. It pushes through the supporting muscular structure to create a noticeable lump. It may look small and barely noticeable at first. Often, you can push it back into place when it’s small. But with time, the bulge grows. It becomes more noticeable when you stand up.

The size of your hernia may also increase when you do something strenuous. The lump may be most obvious when you laugh, cough, or strain while lifting a heavy object, such as weights at the gym or moving furniture.

Pain around the bulge

You may feel pain in the area before detecting the lump. Or, the lump will ache, but not be tender to the touch. Over time, you may notice that the bulge prevents you from doing certain activities. It can cause burning pain.

Inguinal hernia symptoms

An inguinal hernia occurs in the abdomen, but very near the groin. You may notice a bulge on either side of your pubic bone. Your groin may feel heavy and weak. Men may experience pain and swelling around the testicles when the intestine descends into the scrotum.

Hiatal hernia symptoms

A hiatal hernia occurs when part of your stomach pushes through a weakness in your diaphragm into your chest. Instead of a bulge, you get heartburn, chest pain, and symptoms like gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), which include a sour taste in your mouth and difficulty swallowing.

Complications of a hernia

Untreated hernias may continue to grow and result in greater pain. You may also experience swelling and pain in surrounding areas as the hernia puts too much pressure on nearby tissue. A hernia can even pinch a nearby nerve.

Symptoms of a serious complication

It’s possible for a hernia to become strangulated, when a muscle closes the hole as your intestine pushes through. That makes the lump feel tender, and it may darken, too. A strangulated hernia, often a life-threatening medical issue, can cause severe symptoms including:

Serious belly pain

If you suspect you have a hernia, don’t ignore it. At Trinity Bariatric Institute, we can help. We diagnose a hernia during a physical exam or with imaging tests, as in the case of a hiatal hernia. Dr. Dyslin will then offer the best treatment plan for your condition. Call the office or schedule a consultation online to have your suspected hernia evaluated today.

When Should You Consider Anti-Reflux Surgery?

Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) occurs when the sphincter muscle at the bottom of your esophagus fails to close tightly due to damage or weakness. As a result, you get food and stomach acid regurgitating into your esophagus.

If you have GERD, you know all too well how irritating and painful this experience can be. You endure inflammation as a result of the regurgitation, which causes burning chest pain and leaves a sour taste in your mouth.

When noninvasive therapies fail to resolve, or at least lessen, your symptoms of GERD, you may consider therapy. Take a moment to explore what you can try first and then determine if you should consider Nissen fundoplication, or laparoscopic anti-reflux surgery, or hiatal hernia surgery.

Who might consider surgery?

Dr. Dyslin works with you to resolve GERD with noninvasive strategies before even considering you for surgery. He may recommend antacids or prescribe medications to reduce acid in the stomach.

Other interventions involve your lifestyle. He recommends you quit smoking, lose excess weight, and eat smaller meals. Avoid tight clothing, especially types that bind your waist.

You also want to avoid acidic foods that irritate your esophageal lining. These include caffeine, tomatoes, high-fat foods, spicy foods, and mint. You may try to avoid lying down for 2-3 hours after a meal. Elevating your pillow by about six inches at bedtime can also relieve some cases of GERD.

If these treatment strategies fail, you may consider surgery. When symptoms become more frustrating than heartburn, you’re likely to need relief. GERD can cause bloating, vomiting, uncomfortable burping, unrelenting hiccups, nausea, and a chronic sore throat and/or cough.

Why resolve acid reflux?

Gone untreated, chronic GERD can cause esophagitis, characterized by ulcers and internal erosion of the esophagus. You may develop bleeding or scar tissue, which permanently impairs your ability to eat or drink.

What is anti-reflux surgery?

During laparoscopic anti-reflux surgery, Dr. Dyslin creates an effective valve mechanism at the bottom of the esophagus. He either uses your stomach muscle or places a ring or other type of artificial valve to keep your acid tamped down into the stomach.

Laparoscopic surgery is minimally invasive and usually carries a shorter recovery time than traditional open surgery.

Hiatal hernia surgery repositions your stomach if it threatens to push through your chest cavity. This hernia aggravates GERD because it prevents your diaphragm from keeping acid in the stomach, and it bubbles up your esophagus to cause heartburn.

Who is the best candidate?

The best candidates for laparoscopic anti-reflux surgeries have not had prior abdominal surgery, or they have small hiatal hernias. You may also benefit most if your GERD symptoms are prevalent when you’re lying down.

If you have chronic GERD that interferes with your daily life and enjoyment, call Trinity Bariatric Institute. We seek to help men and women in the Fort Worth area overcome digestive distress and lose weight with bariatric surgeries.

For more about acid reflux surgery or other options for GERD treatment, call our office or schedule an appointment using the online tool.

How Robotic Surgery is Revolutionizing Bariatric Surgery

If you’ve qualified for bariatric surgery for weight loss, good news! At Trinity Bariatric Institute, we offer a robotic surgery technique that makes the whole process less invasive, quickens your recovery time, and decreases your chance of complications. Explore how robotic surgery is making bariatric surgery an even better option than ever.

Candidates for bariatric surgery

If you have a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or greater, or a BMI of 35 with significant health concerns associated with obesity, you may be a candidate for bariatric surgery. This size qualifies you as being clinically obese and puts you at great risk of serious health problems, including hypertension, diabetes, heart disease, sleep apnea, arthritis, asthma, and infertility.

Bariatric surgery is an efficient way to lose weight for committed candidates. No surgery is “easy,” however. You should only undergo bariatric surgery when other weight loss strategies have failed to yield a significant drop in pounds.

Trying to lose weight can be a frustrating process. Bariatric surgery may give you the boost you need.

Common bariatric surgeries

Sleeve gastrectomy and gastric bypass are two common bariatric surgeries. With sleeve gastrectomy, your stomach is reduced by about 80%. This limits the amount of food it can hold and as a result, you eat only small amounts and lose weight.

Roux-en-Y gastric bypass also reduces your stomach size, while rerouting your small intestine so you absorb fewer nutrients. You take in fewer calories and lose weight.

Both surgeries also boost the production of hormones that reduce your appetite and increase satiation. Dr. Dyslin can perform both bariatric surgeries using robotic techniques.

Robotic surgery technique

Robotic surgery using a specialized system that includes tiny instruments controlled by a console that sits right next to the surgeon in the operating room. Dr. Dyslin is in the operating room the entire time and has absolute control over your procedure.

Dr. Dyslin makes just a few small incisions, and inserts the tiny instruments through them. A camera inserted in one of these incisions gives him a 3D magnified view inside your body so he can operate effectively. The instruments have a wider range of motion than a surgeon’s hand so they bend and rotate strategically.

Because robotic surgery allows the instruments to move more deftly than a person’s hands, your bariatric surgery is quite precise. Dr. Dyslin gets a better view of your internal organs, tissue, and stomach than he would with the naked eye, too.

Faster healing

Compared with conventional open surgery, robotic surgery offers much faster healing times. You simply heal faster from a tiny incision. Quicker healing shortens your hospital stay, and you get the opportunity to start your subsequent weight loss strategies sooner.

Fewer complications

Small incisions mean little to no scarring. You also experience less pain and blood loss. The risk of infection is minimal with robotic surgery, too.

If you’re tired of being overweight or your health is at significant risk because of your size, the team at Trinity Bariatric Institute is ready to help. Minimally invasive surgical techniques such as robotic surgery make bariatric surgery accessible to a wide range of men and women. Start your journey toward a healthier body today. Call the office or schedule a consultation using this website.