Griffin Hospital will host a free hernia screening event on Thursday, April 25, from 5 to 8 p.m. at the hospital, 130 Division St., Derby.
The screenings will be conducted by area surgeons specializing in hernia treatment. The test takes about 10 minutes and participants will receive information and referrals if there is a suspected hernia.
A hernia occurs when an internal organ or other body part protrudes through the wall of muscle or tissue that normally contains it. Most hernias occur within the abdominal cavity, between the chest and the hips, or the groin.
“It is estimated that five million people in the country have an abdominal hernia, but only about 700,000 of them seek medical treatment each year,” said Griffin Hospital Chief of Surgery Dr. Richard Salzano. “It can be very painful to live with a hernia and potentially life-threatening, so we’re hosting this free screening to encourage anyone who believes they have a hernia to come in and have it checked.”
A hernia in the abdomen or groin can produce a noticeable lump or bulge that can be pushed back in, or that can disappear when lying down. Laughing, crying, coughing, straining during a bowel movement, or physical activity may make the lump reappear after it has been pushed in. More symptoms of a hernia include:
• Swelling or bulge in the groin or scrotum
• Increased pain at the site of the bulge
• Pain while lifting
• Increase in the bulge size over time
• A dull aching sensation
• A sense of feeling full or signs of bowel obstruction
In the case of hiatal hernias — when the upper part of your stomach bulges through the large muscle separating your abdomen and chest (diaphragm) — there are no bulges on the outside of the body. Instead, symptoms may include heartburn, indigestion, difficulty swallowing, frequent regurgitation and chest pain.
Hernias occur in a higher frequency in men between the ages of 40 to 59 years of age, but approximately two percent of all women will have an inguinal hernia at some point in their lifetime.
If left untreated, hernias can get bigger over time, become more visible and can cause serious problems, including blocking the intestine, pinched blood vessels and the hernia can break through the skin.
Interested individuals must make an appointment, which will be taken on a first-come, first-served basis. To make an appointment, call 203-732-3443.