How Do You Fix a Hernia Without Surgery?

Reviewed on 4/27/2022
A hernia protruding from a man's belly button
Hernias generally do not go away on their own and you cannot fix a hernia without surgery, except for umbilical hernias in infants.

A hernia occurs when tissue or an organ protrudes through a defect in the muscles or connective tissue of the body. 

The most common types of hernias include:

  • Groin hernia
  • Hiatal hernia
  • Incisional hernia
  • Ventral hernias
    • Umbilical
    • Epigastric

Except for umbilical hernias in infants, hernias generally do not go away on their own and you cannot fix a hernia without surgery. 

Types of surgery to repair a hernia include: 

  • Open surgery
    • An incision is made where the hernia is located
    • The protruding tissue is pushed back into place 
    • A mesh may be implanted for additional support
  • Laparoscopic surgery 
    • Similar to open surgery, except small incisions are made for surgical tools to be inserted to perform the procedure
  • Robotic hernia repair
    • Similar to laparoscopic surgery with small incisions 
    • A surgeon operates surgical instruments from a console

What Are Symptoms of a Hernia?

Symptoms of hernias can vary depending on their location in the body and many hernias do not cause any symptoms. 

Groin hernias may not cause symptoms. When symptoms of groin hernias occur, they may include:

  • Bulge or lump at the groin
  • Heavy or tugging feeling in the groin area
  • Dull pain that is aggravated by straining, coughing, lifting, or using muscles near the groin

Most small hiatal hernias cause no symptoms. Moderate sized hiatal hernia symptoms include:

Large hiatal hernias can become life-threatening emergencies if they twist or become obstructed.

Incisional hernia symptoms include a bulge at the incision site. 

Ventral hernia symptoms can include:

  • Pain and discomfort that may worsen with coughing or straining 
  • A bulge in the abdominal wall 
  • Pressure on the overlying skin resulting in areas of redness, decreased blood flow, or ulcers

What Causes a Hernia?

Weak connective tissue or musculature can cause a hernia to develop. 

Increased pressure inside the abdominal cavity can make a hernia worse or cause more symptoms. Pressure in the abdomen may be increased by:

How Is a Hernia Diagnosed?

Hernias are diagnosed with a patient history and physical examination, along with tests such as: 

Reviewed on 4/27/2022
Image Source: iStock Images