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Can a hernia heal on its own?

If I have an inguinal hernia do I have to have surgery on it? Any chance it could heal on its own?
Inguinal hernias are one of the more common reasons for otherwise healthy people to have surgery. Unfortunately, hernias typically do not heal on their own--once you have one it is likely to stay that way unless you have surgery. The question of whether or not you need surgery depends upon how large the hernia is, if it is causing you any other symptoms or problems, and how active you are. It sounds like someone has told you that you do have a hernia. At this point the best thing to do is follow up with a general surgeon who can examine your hernia and discuss the surgical options with you. It is never a fun thing to have to consider surgery, but on the other hand the complications from incarcerated hernias--where they become "stuck" in between layers of soft tissue--can be very severe. If you have a known hernia and are otherwise healthy, having the area repaired can be the best thing to protect your health and quality of life in the future. Any concerns you have about the surgery itself, general anesthesia, or the recovery process should be discussed with the surgeon consultant or your primary care physician. Best of luck getting this taken care of!
This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.
If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under ZocDoc’s Terms of Service.

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