Can You Live With a Hernia?

Absolutely Yes!

If your hernia is not causing pain or discomfort – it is possible to live with your hernia.

One must remember that there is a risk of an emergency (incarceration or strangulation) from any hernia. A painless hernia typically (but not always) will start causing discomfort prior to an emergency.

Based on epidemiological data, approximately 20% of patients with a painless inguinal hernia will live many years prior to worsening symptoms or urgent need for surgery. The reason to fix the hernia is increasing discomfort, pain, or hernia enlargement (surgery will end these symptoms).

How do I decide to have hernia surgery?

Hernia surgery is recommended:
  • If you are having intermittent discomfort or pain.
  • If your hernia is enlarging.
  • If you recovered from a recent hernia related emergency or painful event in the area of the hernia.
  • If you are concerned enough about the risk of an emergency that you will be thinking about it too often. ( Will you obsess over your hernia on a daily basis ?)
Hernias don't go away on their own. Only surgery can repair a hernia.

NB - Many doctors recommend surgery because it prevents a rare but serious problem called incarceration strangulation. This occurs when a loop of intestine or a piece of fatty tissue is trapped inside the hernia. Strangulation is when the tightness of the hernia hole is strangulating the blood supply of the contents of the hernia (intestine or fat). This is an unusual but potentially fatal problem.

How long can you live with a hernia?

The absolute answer is that it is “unpredictable.”

Some can live with a hernia for their whole life while others will develop a hernia related emergency within months of the development of their hernia.

Is it OK to push a hernia back in?

Yes – this is a safe maneuver.

However, even with the hernia contents protruding, it is not always necessary to push a hernia back in (reduce the hernia).

What will make a hernia worse?

Often there is no reason why some hernias get worse.

Weight gain – especially gaining visceral fat – will increase the intra-abdominal pressure and make the hernia defect larger.

Heavy lifting may or may not make a hernia worse.
woman athlete holding her stomach - article discussing can you live with a hernia

What can happen if a hernia is not treated?

A hernia is a hole in the abdominal wall. The risk from a hernia is that the intestine inside the abdomen can be pushed out of the hole of the hernia.

Potentially the intestine pushing out of the hernia can be stuck in the hernia leading to intestinal obstruction.

With prolonged incarceration of a hernia, there is a risk of strangulation of the contents of the hernia. In this case there is a high risk of critical illness or even death.

Why Choose Center for Hernia Repair

At the Center for Hernia Repair, we specialize in a variety of hernia repair techniques and prioritize patient comfort and satisfaction.

Dr. Yunis relies on his 30 years of experience and expertise to offer his patients customized treatment plans that suit their needs.

Center for Hernia Repair

1435 South Osprey Avenue
Suite 201
Sarasota, Florida 34239
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