Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"What happens to a hernia if it goes untreated?"
If a hernia goes untreated will it grow? I think I might have a small hernia but the pain is manageable and I am not a big fan of surgery. Can I just let it go for a while and see if it gets any worse?
It would not be advisable to just sit on a painful hernia. A hernia is a protrusion of either fat or an organ or tissue through an abnormal opening in the body that usually presents as a lump in the abdomen or groin, that is generally more prominent during standing. A hernia will not get better on its own and is treated with surgery. Patients often choose not to treat a hernia because of perceptions regarding surgery. However, there are safe, simple and quick outpatient procedures, often using local anesthesia, in less than an hour that can allow you to return back to your daily activities in very little time, and often even the same afternoon. Repairing a hernia is routine for general surgery. The main reason for surgical treatment is the fact that if bowel gets stuck within the hernia, it can lose its blood supply and get strangulated. This can be life threatening and requires emergent surgery. In order to prevent this life threatening complication, it is safer to repair hernias on an elective basis. It is very important that you make an appointment to speak with a surgeon to surgically treat this hernia. The surgeon will also ask detailed questions about your history, perform a similar examination and determine the best treatment for your clinical situation.
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