Do All Hernias Have to be Repaired?

Once you’re diagnosed with a hernia – be it an indirect inguinal hernia, direct inguinal hernia and/or femoral hernia – the next question is does it have to be repaired, and if so, how soon? If you’ve been living with a hernia for long, then you may have increased your pain tolerance to a point where the hernia doesn’t appear to have a negative effect on your life. Some hernias simply don’t cause much discomfort. And, there’s the recovery period post-hernia repair to consider and plan for, which can make you want to put off repairing your hernia.

Relieving significant pain that stops you from living daily life as usual is the top reason to repair a hernia, but there are several other reasons that cause people with hernias to have them repaired sooner versus later. If you’re on your feet for long periods of time, a hernia can make it more painful to do so. This tends to interfere with work or other activities like sports.

A hernia can prevent many athletes from playing at their peak. Any sport that requires lifting, turning or pulls on the core muscles can aggravate or cause a hernia. Repair is usually the only option to return to a sport or workout full force without pain.

A hernia can make sexual intercourse uncomfortable or downright painful at times given the area being strained. This can not only make sex physically painful, but also take an emotional toll on a relationship.

Oftentimes, if the pain isn’t severe enough to warrant hernia repair, the cosmetic appearance of a hernia is. A bulge, which is a classic sign of a hernia, can increase in size to the point where others can notice it through your clothing, and becomes an embarrassment.

If you travel to countries where the medical care is poor, strongly consider having the hernia fixed before your trip.

Pain, athletics, sex and visibility aside, there are cases when a hernia must be repaired for health reasons. Though rare, it is possible for your intestines to protrude through the hole left by the hernia and become stuck. This is a serious event and requires emergency surgery for repair. Those diagnosed with indirect inguinal hernias and femoral hernias are at a higher risk for this to happen.

Learn more about your options for hernia repair. Contact Dr. Brown today.