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Hernia (cont.)

Is Follow-up Needed After Hernia Treatment?

To lower the risk of a hernia becoming irreducible or strangulated, the sooner a reducible hernia is repaired the better.

Is It Possible to Prevent a Hernia?

You can do little to prevent areas of the abdominal wall from being or becoming weak, which can potentially become a site for a hernia.

What Is the Prognosis of a Hernia?

  • Risk of strangulation: In considering when to have a reducible hernia surgically repaired, it is important for a patient 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.
    • In general, hernias with large sac contents with a relatively small opening are more likely to become strangulated.
    • Hernias that have been present for many years may become irreducible.
  • Operative complications: Complication rates vary according to whether the surgery was elective or emergent, the hernia size and location, as well as the techniques used (open surgery or laparoscopic)
  • Most complications occur over the short term and are easily treatable.
    • The hernia that comes back after initial surgical repair can be repaired by the same or an alternate method.
    • Complications of hernia repair include
      • recurrence (most common),
      • urinary retention,
      • wound infection,
      • fluid build-up in scrotum (called hydrocele formation),
      • scrotal hematoma (bruise), and
      • testicular damage on the affected side (rare).


Elnahas, A., S.H. Kim, A. Okrainec, F. Quereshy, and T.D. Jackson. "Is laparoscopic repair of incarcerated abdominal hernias safe? Analysis of short-term outcomes." Surg Endosc 30.8 August 2016: 3262-3266.

Last Reviewed 9/11/2017

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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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