You’ve been experiencing pain due to a hernia — and the discomfort alone should be reason enough to seek treatment. If relief from the pain isn’t enough of a motivator, however, it’s important to understand that there are risks in not treating a hernia.
At Rockwall Surgical Specialists, our team of top-notch surgeons has in-depth experience in hernia surgery, helping our patients to not only resolve their pain, but prevent complications down the road. Here, we address why ignoring hernia pain is never a good idea.
The first thing to understand about the pain and discomfort that can come from a hernia is that these symptoms depend upon which type of hernia you’ve developed. To give you a better idea, let’s take a look at the three most common types of hernias — more than 80% of hernias are one of the following — and their associated symptoms.
The most common type of hernia is called an inguinal hernia, a condition in which your intestines push through a weak spot in your lower abdominal muscles. The condition occurs more often in men thanks to potentially weaker inguinal canals, but it can develop in women as well.
In some cases, you may not feel any symptoms, but this type of hernia can lead to discomfort in your groin, especially when you apply more pressure to the area, such as when you’re lifting something heavy or when you cough.
This type only accounts for 3% of hernias and occurs more often in women. A femoral hernia develops when abdominal tissues push through a weak spot in your muscles and into your femoral canal.
Femoral hernias typically don’t present any symptoms, but leaving this condition untreated has its dangers, especially if it affects your flow of blood.
A hiatal hernia describes a condition in which part of your stomach bulges up through your diaphragm, which can lead to digestive issues as well as abdominal discomfort.
The title of this blog references hernia pain, which we believe is a compelling reason to seek treatment. But it’s not the only reason. The fact is that once a hernia develops, it doesn’t resolve itself on its own, except for umbilical hernias in infants, which can correct themselves during development.
Not only are most hernias permanent once they develop, but you also run the risk of the hernia becoming larger as you grow older and your support tissues naturally weaken with age. In other words, what was once an asymptomatic hernia can develop symptoms if the hernia worsens.
Other complications we’re concerned with are obstruction or strangulation, especially when it comes to inguinal or femoral hernias. With the first — obstruction — a piece of the tissue can become stuck inside your inguinal or femoral canal and impede function in these areas.
If the tissue loses blood supply, it’s called strangulation. This complication is incredibly serious and requires emergency care to save the tissue.
To avoid the potential complications that stem from a hernia, we offer laparoscopic hernia repairs, procedures in which we reposition the displaced tissue and shore up the weak spot in your muscles using minimally invasive surgical techniques.
We're not suggesting that all hernias require immediate surgical repair, but if you’re experiencing hernia pain, we believe that this is one sign you shouldn’t ignore.
If you'd like to explore your surgical options for relief from hernia pain, contact one of our offices — in Rowlett, Rockwall, Greenville, Forney, and Terrell, Texas — to schedule a consultation.