Do Hernias Always Require Surgery?

If you’ve been told that you have a hernia, it’s understandable to want to know whether you should choose to have surgery now or wait. It is your choice to have surgery, even if you don’t currently have symptoms. However, the “wait and see” approach may be an option in certain circumstances. If you feel concerned about your hernia, discuss your options with one of our gastroenterologists.

Hernia overview

Hernias are common and aren’t usually a threat to your health. They occur when an organ or tissue pushes through a weak area in the surrounding muscle or connective tissue. Groin and abdominal hernias are the most common types.

Many people have a hernia and remain completely unaware of it. Others visit the doctor after experiencing pain and discomfort and receive a hernia diagnosis. Hernias can occur as a result of increased pressure when straining, bending, or doing a similar activity. Some people are born with weak areas in their abdominal wall, making them more susceptible to hernias.

Symptoms of hernia

The most common hernia symptoms are swelling and discomfort in the abdomen or groin area. Keep in mind that sometimes hernias cause no pain. You may experience intermittent symptoms that go away and then return, or you may experience constant discomfort and pressure in the affected area. Experiencing constant pain may be a sign of complications and requires immediate evaluation.

How is hernia treated?

Whether you opt to have surgery now or wait is a decision you make after discussing your individual case with your doctor. We utilize several different procedures to repair hernias here at Illinois Gastroenterology Group. The procedure you undergo depends on various factors that your provider will discuss with you in detail.

When is it okay to delay hernia surgery?

The only way to know for sure whether it’s safe for you to delay hernia surgery is to talk it over with your provider at Illinois Gastroenterology Group. In general, it may be okay to wait to have surgery if you aren’t experiencing any symptoms and the hernia isn’t limiting your activities. You may be able to coexist with the hernia for months or years. Once it becomes painful or limits your activity, it’s best to have it repaired.

Hernias don’t get better on their own

While it isn’t always necessary to opt for immediate hernia surgery, it’s important to know that hernias don’t go away or get better on their own. In fact, delaying hernia repair may make your hernia worse. Your provider will assess your particular circumstances and make a recommendation. Tell them if there’s a reason why you don’t want to have surgery right now.

Laparoscopic hernia repair

In the past, recovering from hernia surgery took longer. Today, we have less-invasive methods that result in faster recovery time. There’s no need to delay surgery for fear of a long, arduous recovery. Laparoscopic hernia repair is a minimally invasive technique that requires only small incisions for the surgeon to enter the space behind the hernia defect and place mesh to restore the integrity of the muscle or tissue wall.

If you have a hernia, we can answer your questions and concerns and execute the most appropriate treatment plan. Rest assured that hernia repair is a safe and effective surgery. Call one of our offices to schedule an appointment or request a visit online. We have offices in Elgin,South Elgin, and Lake in the Hills, Illinois. 

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