Hernia Awareness Month: Understanding Hernia Treatment

When an internal organ slips through damaged tissue, you have a hernia. While many hernias do not have obvious or painful symptoms, they can become life threatening if the protruding organ becomes pinched and is unable to receive adequate blood flow. All hernias have the potential to become pinched, strangulated hernias.

After diagnosing your hernia using and ultrasound or physical examination, Dr. Jeremiah Mason will recommend next steps. If surgery is your best option, you will undergo laparoscopic surgery, which has an established history of success. Most people recover within two weeks of the surgery.

Understanding hernia treatment

Surgical Specialists of Carolina offer minimally invasive surgery to correct hernias. Whether or not you need treatment largely depends on the size of your hernia and severity of your symptoms. However, it’s important to note that the only way to correct a hernia is through surgery.

Every hernia is unique and will require individualized treatment. Some of the most common types of hernias include, inguinal, incisional, umbilical and hiatal. If you have a small inguinal, incisional or umbilical hernia affecting your abdomen that does not cause discomfort, many doctors recommend watching and waiting. If the hernia is asymptomatic and stays the same, it does not pose a health risk. Your doctor will continue to monitor it, but no further treatment is required. If the hernia does grow larger, you will need surgery to fix it.

Hiatal hernias affecting the diaphragm do not have symptoms, but may cause acid reflux. Acid reflux often leads to Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD), which can damage the esophagus. As a result, doctors treat GERD symptoms to prevent damage to the esophagus. Often, dietary and lifestyle changes like avoiding spicy and tomato-based foods and weight loss can effectively treat the symptoms of GERD. For more severe cases, over-the-counter or prescription medications may be required to relieve your discomfort.

Recovery from hernia surgery

Most people recover within two weeks of hernia surgery, however, some people may take longer. A good rule of thumb is, if it hurts, stop what you are doing and if it’s sore, ice it.

For more information on hernia repair, or to schedule an appointment, call 828-585-2575.