What May Happen If You Don’t Treat Your Hernia?
No one looks forward to a surgical procedure, no matter what the reason for the procedure may be. Even when we’re in pain from a medical issue, surgery is a scary ordeal that many people will try to avoid at all costs. However, not undergoing a surgical procedure when it is necessary can create many problematic issues, including continued pain and even life-threatening results. Although painful, hernias are not as immediate as other forms of medically necessary surgery, but that doesn’t mean that you should not have surgery to address your hernia. Below, we’ll explore hernia surgery and discuss how important it is to undergo surgery when necessary, including what you can expect if you put off having your hernia repair surgery.
What Exactly Is a Hernia?
A hernia is the catch-all term for any situation when an organ pushes against (and even protrudes through) the surrounding muscles and/or tissue (called fascia). When this happens, a visible bulge can often be seen in your skin, and pain and discomfort can result. One of the most common areas of the body for hernias to occur is the stomach, where the intestine pushes against the abdominal wall. When this happens, hernia repair surgery is the only way to correct the issue.
How Is Hernia Surgery Performed?
Hernia repair surgery is a procedure in which small incisions will be made in the target area. A laparoscope is then used to push the protruding organ back in place. The tissue and/or muscle is tightened, and a mesh piece is attached to the fascia or muscle to strengthen the area and keep future hernias from occurring. In total, this procedure takes anywhere from 30 to 45 minutes to complete.
Why Is Hernia Repair Surgery Necessary?
While not all hernias require surgery (and many people live the rest of their lives with a hernia), the simple reality is that a hernia cannot and will not be corrected naturally by the body. Instead, surgery is the only way to correct this concern. And while the two most common frustrations of hernias are that they are visible on the skin and they cause pain in the area, there are additional health concerns that need to be considered, especially if you are thinking of putting off having a hernia repair surgery.
Two of the most dangerous complications that can be caused by an untreated hernia include an incarcerated hernia and a strangulated hernia. With an incarcerated hernia, the organ can become stuck in the muscle or fascia, which makes it harder to put back in place (if hernia surgery is finally performed). When a hernia becomes incarcerated, the bowels can be obstructed, which can lead to serious health complications and even death. Similarly, a strangulated hernia is when the hernia is constructed by the surrounding muscle. This can cause blood flow to completely stop in the area, which can lead to life-threatening issues like infection (gangrene) and shock.
What Should You Do?
If you think you may be suffering from a hernia, then it is of the utmost importance that you schedule an appointment with a physician. Once a hernia is identified, it is strongly suggested that you schedule your hernia repair surgery to have the issue rectified. Not only will the unsightly look of the hernia be fixed and any pain you experience will be minimized, but you can ensure that you are healthy and happier in the end.
For more information about hernia repair surgery, please contact Patrick Moore MD, FACS by calling 951-477-5700.