Are you living with a hernia?

Are you living with a hernia?

Hernias can be a very painful thing, but most people don’t know the pain can be prevented by dealing with them before they rupture.

A hernia is a defect in the abdominal wall and can occur when a weak area gives way allowing an organ, like the intestine or fatty tissue, to poke out through an opening in the muscle or tissue that is supposed to hold it in place. Excessive pressure can cause these tissues to break through the weakened area.

Know the signs

Hernia signs and symptoms range from a small visible and pain-free lump to a severe and painful protrusion of the tissue. Coughing, bending over and heavy lifting can make it very painful.

A hernia does not go away on its own. Even with no symptoms, it can also cause serious problems such as infection, bowel obstruction and, in some cases, surgery is the only way to repair them.

Dr. Robert Sulkowski, a general surgeon at Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge, Ill., says hernias occur most commonly in the groin and are called inguinal hernia.

“If tender, they may require emergency operation if the tissue in the hernia becomes strangulated and the blood supply is compromised,” Dr. Sulkowski says.

He and his partner, Dr. Scott Peckler, perform more than 200 hernia surgeries per year.

Common locations

“It is much more common in men due to the opening that allows the decent of the testicles into the scrotum.” Dr. Sulkowski says.

A second common site is the belly button, called an umbilical hernia, which is another natural weak spot prone to develop a hernia due to obesity, pregnancy and age.

“Surgery creates another weakened area and up to 10 percent of abdominal incisions will develop an incisional hernia,” Dr. Sulkowski says.

What to do

Doctors say surgery is the only long-term treatment to repair a hernia.

They can be repaired with either open surgery or laparoscopic surgery, which uses a tiny camera and miniature surgical equipment, only making a small incision.

For some patients, the size and severity of their hernia may not require immediate surgery and can be monitored. Symptoms can be managed by avoiding large meals, bending down, coughing, straining and smoking. However, most doctors believe even asymptomatic hernias should be repaired to prevent further damage.

Dr. Sulkowski recommends getting it repaired instead of living with it.

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Comments

5 Comments

  1. Yesterday my doctor said i have hernia never hurt about that.But burning and hurting me at the left side.i will be have on operation soon.I am 54 and always worry. How long i cane living with this operation?
    Sincerely,
    Henry Riemer

  2. Mariah Canfield-Jones July 1, 2020 at 12:31 pm · Reply

    I am avoiding eating and most of the time have to work, but I work in a place that requires bending over, picking things up, right now the new company handling LOA is dragging their feet, I have surgery on the 6th of July, but I may have to cancel it indefinitely because I can’t get the paperwork in time to be sent to the doctors. I’m to the point of giving up and just living with the pain and taking pain killers. I’m basically not sure how to handle this.

    The website for my LOA is nonexistent and I have been waiting for the company to call. So what should I do? Should I cancel the surgery for a later date and pray LOA gets approved?

  3. Hello, I have a ingenial hernia, I can push it back in but it is getting lager/// I am VERY affraid of surgery /// What are the chances of dying during the surgery? Or after? So I can get this over with.

  4. Hi, am 24 already done a surgery at birth but has occurred again. It’s comes up And Down once in a while and I sometimes suppress it. And I also iget involed in alot of soccer, please I need advice.

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health enews Staff
health enews Staff

health enews staff is a group of experienced writers from our Advocate Aurora Health sites, which also includes freelance or intern writers.