Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Can a hernia problem be fixed without surgery?"
I'm a 31 year old male. One of my first days on the job as a local service driver for a towing company I received a call from a large pick up truck with a flat tire. Not having much experience at the time I over did it with jacking the truck up and ended up pulling my hernia on the left side. This was back in 2006 and I haven't been in too bad of pain. I previously had a hernia on the right side and had a surgery so I know how extreme it can get. The side is not swollen even after nearly 5 years though I experience pain every now and then. Is there any way to correct the problem with out surgery?
First of all, it is important to make sure that your diagnosis of a hernia is a correct one. There are different sources of lower abdominal pain that can masquerade as a hernia, and there are different types of hernia that can affect men as well. The most common type of groin hernia in men (and women) is called an indirect inguinal hernia; this refers to a weakness in the abdominal wall through which intra-abdominal contents (such as fat or intestine) may protrude. If you do in fact suffer from an inguinal hernia, then the only way to truly cure the problem is through surgery. The surgery to repair an inguinal hernia is among the most common general surgical procedures performed in this country. There have been studies of men diagnosed with inguinal hernias looking at the option of "watchful waiting" (ie, careful observation instead of up-front surgical repair). This has been shown to be a fairly reasonable option for patients that have no or very few symptoms from their hernia. While the chance of a complication from a hernia decreases with the time after the initial injury, there always remains the possibility of a complication (such as strangulation of the hernia) in the absence of surgical correction. In any case, you should see a general surgeon to get an accurate diagnosis of your groin/abdominal pain and discuss the best options for your treatment.
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