Is No Treatment An Option?

Hernia Treatment

Is No Treatment An Option?

 “My hernia doesn’t hurt, do I still need treatment?”

Many hernias do not hurt so the temptation is to leave them and get on with life. However, failing to get medical advice can be damaging and is not recommended. If left the hernia will grow and discomfort and pain, even if negligible to start with, will intensify.

Leaving a hernia untreated could affect your quality of life and lead to work absences while delaying surgical repair could make later operations more complex. Furthermore, a hernia could also become strangulated if not treated, which means the bowel becomes trapped in the hernia and its blood supply is cut off. A strangulated hernia can be extremely painful and is considered a surgical emergency

 

Are There Non-Surgical Options?

Wearing corsets, belts or trusses were common when surgery was dangerous and had a poor success rate. But they are now obsolete because surgical techniques have advanced so much in recent decades and wearing them could cause additional problems. Initially they were designed to stop the hernia popping out but are so rudimentary and offer such little protection that they should not be used.

Scientific research confirmed the need for surgical repair. The results, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) and in the Annals of Surgery in 2006, showed that almost 25% of the non-operated patients converted to surgery.

“This study has confirmed previous findings that most patients with minimal symptoms from an inguinal hernia develop pain over time,” it concluded. “Pain was the most common reason for requesting operation, followed by effect on quality of life and increase in size of the hernia. Surgical repair is recommended for medically fit patients with a painless inguinal hernia.”

The best advice, endorsed by the London Hernia Consultants, is to locate a specialist and have the hernia repaired as soon as possible.

Book Appointment

To ask a question or book an appointment you can contact our London Hernia team on 020 3370 1014 or by emailing us at londonhernia@hje.org.uk.

 

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