Shriya Saran took to Instagram to share an important update about her husband Andrei Koscheev, who was in the hospital recently owing to a health scare.

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In a series of pictures, Saran’s husband was seen in a hospital scrub, with an IV line hooked to his hand. The actor wrote that Koscheev “had a hernia”, and he “could not lift [their daughter] Radha for about two months”.

“Now all that is in the past,” she mentioned in the caption, suggesting that he underwent a surgery to find relief.

For the uninitiated, hernia is the bulging of an organ or tissues through any abnormal opening in the body. It is typically seen in the stomach or intestine, and though treatable, it can lead to a lot of pain, which is why it is important to visit a doctor who can monitor the patient and suggest a course of action.

According to Dr Ajay Kumar Kriplani, director and head of department of minimal access and bariatric surgery at Fortis Hospital Gurugram, hernia basically means the muscles have “ruptured”.

“Sometimes due to strenuous physical activity, the muscles get ruptured. The job of muscles is to keep the contents of the abdomen, mainly the intestines, intact. When they rupture, the intestines tend to come out through an opening, and that is what we call a hernia,” he explained.

When the hernia gets obstructed and the blood supply gets blocked, it causes pain. (Photo: Getty/Thinkstock)

The doctor added that there are certain weak spots in muscles, and one such spot is the belly button, which connects a baby to the mother via an umbilical cord. “Sometimes, babies are born with umbilical hernias. Other times, they are born with a hernia in the lower part of the abdomen. Hernia is [caused by] wear and tear of the muscles, a rupture, or it can be congenital.”

Dr Shalin Dubey, consultant, laparoscopic and robotic surgery, Apollo Hospitals, Navi Mumbai concurred and added that “increase in intra-abdominal pressure”, especially with lifting and straining, may cause a “blind sac or pouch (rather like a sock) to bulge out through one of the weak spots”.

According to the doctor, the symptoms of hernia include “bulge or swelling”, usually painless. “It can usually be pushed back into place (a reducible hernia) with gentle pressure or may simply disappear on lying down. The lump gurgles when it is pushed back. In men, swelling of the scrotum can also be a sign of hernia. Mild discomfort or transient pain can occur. If a portion of intestine gets trapped into the hernia, it can cause serious problems like pain, nausea, vomiting, and the gurgling noise of the bowel can be felt or heard,” he explained.

Hernia pain

Dr Kriplani said a pain in the hernia region signals emergency. “An uncomplicated hernia does not cause pain, only a bulge, which is prominent when someone stands up. When the hernia gets obstructed and the blood supply gets blocked, it causes pain and is treated as an emergency,” he said, adding that all hernia cases warrant a surgery.

“Only in newborns, the hernia may sometimes disappear, as the muscles grow and become stronger. So, an immediate surgery is not required.”

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