Dangers of not treating a hernia : A guide to Hernias

It is easy to assume that if you are not experiencing any symptoms with a hernia then you can just ignore it in the hope that it will go away.

Unfortunately this isn’t always the case.

An untreated hernia will increase in size over a period of time which will also become more uncomfortable as well.

If you have a hiatus hernia then the danger with this is that stomach acid damages your oesophagus as it flows into it. This can lead to the development of ulcers which in extreme cases can bleed causing the patient to vomit. If blood is present in the vomit then emergency medical treatment is needed.

This can also result in anaemia.

Another problem is that of a strangulated hernia which can occur with any type of hernia. This is a condition in which the hernia remains trapped in place (known as ‘irreducible’) and becomes tightly compressed. This compression results in the blood supply being cut off to the tissue or internal organ (e.g. bowel) which comprises the hernia.

If this happens then the tissue or organ can deteriorate which is a potentially serious condition. The hernia becomes red, swollen and painful to the touch and is accompanied by symptoms such as the following:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Fever
  • Severe pain
  • Constipation

This requires emergency surgery to release the trapped hernia and restore the blood supply. This is a far more complicated form of surgery than that for hernia repair which means a longer recovery period.

So it is in your best interests to have your hernia seen to as soon as possible.

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