Argh! I think I might have a hernia, what should I do?
Hernias are common and their repair represents one of the most common surgical procedures in the United States.
There are many kinds of hernias and all represent a “hole” in the abdominal wall through which the bowel can protrude. The diagnosis is made by your health history and physical examination. Hernias rarely require additional diagnostic testing, and many cause no symptoms. Your hernia will not heal and over time will almost always enlarge. Aside from pain and discomfort, the biggest danger is that the hernia may become “strangulated” converting its repair to an emergency situation. Ideally, most hernias should be repaired electively when diagnosed.
Surgically, the goal with hernia surgery is to close the “hole” with a mesh without distorting the normal anatomy or creating tension; in this way the repair is accomplished with minimal pain and minimal risk of recurrence. These repairs can now be done by both a traditional open method orLaparoscopically.
You and your surgeon would determine the most appropriate type of repair for your hernia.