A Spigelian Hernia is a rare type of hernia that occurs in the abdominal wall, slightly to the side of the upper abdomen. It can be repaired using tension-free mesh reinforcement, like the majority of other hernias. The most common sign of a Spigelian Hernia is a bulge to the side or below your navel that may become more painful when lifting heavy objects or when coughing.
This type of hernia protrudes through a weakness in the muscle fibres of the abdominal wall.
Factors that can contribute towards a Spigelian Hernia include:
- Sports activity
- Heavy lifting
Figure 1. Anatomy of abdominal wall.
1: Linea semilunaris (spigelian); 2: Rectus abdominis muscle;
3: Transversus abdominal muscle; 4: Spigelian aponeurosis; 5: Linea semicircularis
Spigelian Hernia Symptoms
A Spigelian Hernia can be difficult to diagnose as there often aren’t any physical symptoms.
- Poor bowel function
- Dull ache in the abdominal area
- Recurring pain especially during activity
Diagnosis Of Spigelian Hernia
Spigelian Hernias tricky to detect. As they tend to have a narrow neck, are usually quite small and are situated under the aponeurosis (a sheet of fibrous tissue), they are often not often seen or felt (by doctors). Therefore an ultrasound or CT-scan may be required to confirm of the diagnosis. A consultant can then begin Spigelian Hernia repair.
Spigelian Hernia Treatment
The Spigelian Hernia repair procedure can be carried out under local or general anaesthetic. Surgery is usually required to treat this type of hernia as it can be prone to strangulation. The Tension-free open mesh procure that has been perfected by London Hernia consultants over many years, can be used.
Many hernias do not hurt so the temptation is to ignore them. However, failing to get medical advice can be damaging and is not recommended. If left the hernia will grow and discomfort and pain, even if negligible to start with, will intensify.