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Hernia FAQs (cont.)

What are the risks and complications associated with hernias?

  • Risk of strangulation: In considering when to have a reducible hernia operated on, it is important to know the risk of strangulation.


    • The risk varies with the location and size of the hernia and the length of time it has been present.


    • Inguinal hernias, the most common type of hernia, have been the most intensively studied. For direct and indirect inguinal hernias, the risk of strangulation is 2.8% for the first three months, increasing to 4.5% over two years.


    • Femoral hernias, although rare, are especially prone to strangulation, which happens in 22% of cases at three months and 45% of cases by almost two years.


    • In general, hernias with large sac contents and a relatively small opening are more likely to become strangulated.


    • Hernias are more likely to become irreducible in the first few weeks than over months or years, but even hernias that have been present for many years may become irreducible.


  • Operative complications: Approximately 7% of people who undergo surgical hernia repair will have complications.


    • These are short-term and usually treatable.


    • The hernia that comes back after initial surgical repair has a greatly increased risk of returning if operated on again.


    • Complications include the following:


      • Recurrence (most common)


      • Inability to urinate


      • Wound infection


      • Fluid build-up in scrotum (called hydrocele formation)


      • Scrotal hematoma (bruise)


      • Testicular damage on the affected side (rare)

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Hernia FAQs - Symptoms

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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.

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