|Who gets hernias?
to the National Center for Health Statistics, approximately five million
Americans have hernias. Hernias in the groin area (inguinal hernias)
are most common in men, primarily because of the unsupported space
left in the groin after the testicles descend into the scrotum. Hernias
in the femoral area, at the top of the thigh, occur most often in
women. They commonly result from pregnancy and childbirth.
Will my hernia go away?
An untreated hernia will not get better on its own, although it may
not get worse for months or even years. A hernia that can be easily
pushed back or flattened (reducible hernia) is generally not an immediate
danger to your health, although it can be painful. A non-reducible
hernia, however, can become life-threatening if part of the intestine
gets trapped, or strangulated, in the opening. This is also called
an incarcerated hernia and in an emergency situation may require immediate
What can I do to feel better?
Limiting activity or eliminating excess weight may provide temporary
relief. Wearing a truss or binder has also offered temporary relief.
The only cure, however, is surgery. There are two reasons for hernia
surgery: to correct or prevent a dangerous strangulated hernia, and
to eliminate the pain that may be interfering with your normal activity.
Although there are always risks and side effects associated with surgery,
today's surgical techniques provide patients with treatment options
that offer minimal postoperative discomfort, speedy recovery, and
Is surgery right for me?
Whether you should have surgery is a question only your doctor can
help you answer. Your doctor can tell you more about your condition
and treatment options for painful and life-threatening hernias. There
is no need to suffer in silence. Your doctor is there to help.