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Hernia (cont.)

Hernia Medical Treatment

Patient Comments

Treatment of a hernia depends on whether it is reducible or irreducible and possibly strangulated.

  • Reducible hernia
    • In general, all hernias should be repaired to avoid the possibility of future intestinal strangulation.
    • If you have preexisting medical conditions that would make surgery unsafe, your doctor may not repair your hernia but will watch it closely.
    • Rarely, your doctor may advise against surgery because of the special condition of your hernia.
      • Some hernias have or develop very large openings in the abdominal wall, and closing the opening is complicated because of their large size.
      • These kinds of hernias may be treated without surgery, perhaps using abdominal binders.
      • Some doctors feel that the hernias with large openings have a very low risk of strangulation.
    • The treatment of every hernia is individualized, and a discussion of the risks and benefits of surgical versus nonsurgical management needs to take place between the doctor and patient.
  • Irreducible hernia
    • All acutely irreducible hernias need emergency treatment because of the risk of strangulation.
    • An attempt to reduce (push back) the hernia will generally be made, often after giving medicine for pain and muscle relaxation.
    • If unsuccessful, emergency surgery is needed.
    • If successful, however, treatment depends on the length of the time that the hernia was irreducible.
      • If the intestinal contents of the hernia had the blood supply cut off, the development of dead (gangrenous) bowel is possible in as little as 6 hours.
      • In cases in which the hernia has been strangulated for an extended time, surgery is performed to check whether the intestinal tissue has died and to repair the hernia.
      • In cases in which the length of time that the hernia was irreducible was short and gangrenous bowel is not suspected, you may be discharged from the hospital.
    • If a hernia that appears irreducible is finally reduced, it is important to consider a surgical correction. These hernias have a significantly higher risk of getting incarcerated again.

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Patient Comments & Reviews

The eMedicineHealth doctors ask about Hernia:

Hernia - Prognosis

Did you have surgery for your hernia, and what was the prognosis?

Hernia - Symptoms

For hernia, what were the symptoms you experienced?

Hernia - Surgery

Did you have surgery to repair your hernia?

Hernia - Treatment

What was the treatment for your Hernia?





Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

Hernias »

As defined in 1804 by Astley Cooper, ahernia as a protrusion of any viscus from its proper cavity.

Read More on Medscape Reference »


Medical Dictionary