Information for Patients
Gangrene is the death of tissues in your body. It happens when a part of your body loses its blood supply. Gangrene can happen on the surface of the body, such as on the skin, or inside the body, in muscles or organs. Causes include
- Serious injuries
- Problems with blood circulation, such as atherosclerosis and peripheral arterial disease
Skin symptoms may include a blue or black color, pain, numbness, and sores that produce a foul-smelling discharge. If the gangrene is internal, you may run a fever and feel unwell, and the area may be swollen and painful.
Gangrene is a serious condition. It needs immediate attention. Treatment includes surgery, antibiotics, and oxygen therapy. In severe cases an amputation may be necessary.
A hernia happens when part of an internal organ or tissue bulges through a weak area of muscle. Most hernias are in the abdomen.
There are several types of hernias, including
- Inguinal, in the groin. This is the the most common type.
- Umbilical, around the belly button
- Incisional, through a scar
- Hiatal, a small opening in the diaphragm that allows the upper part of the stomach to move up into the chest.
- Congenital diaphragmatic, a birth defect that needs surgery
Hernias are common. They can affect men, women, and children. A combination of muscle weakness and straining, such as with heavy lifting, might contribute. Some people are born with weak abdominal muscles and may be more likely to get a hernia.
Treatment is usually surgery to repair the opening in the muscle wall. Untreated hernias can cause pain and health problems.