The Herniabible Blog

advice from people who have had an inguinal hernia

Strangulated Hernia

Doctors often say ‘ Don’t try any alternatives for healing your own hernia – they don’t work and you risk getting a life-threatening strangulated hernia.’

This puts many people off trying natural methods to deal with their hernia, such as a change of diet, Pilates exercises and wearing a good quality hernia support garment. Hopefully this article will help you to recognize the symptoms of a strangulated hernia so that if you do decide not to opt for surgery straight away, then you can seek immediate medical attention in the event that you really need it.

What is a strangulated hernia?

A hernia is a piece of intestine which is poking through a gap in the muscle of your abdominal wall. It is seen as a bulge under the skin. If the hernia is ‘reducible’ you can push it back inside your abdomen again, but gravity usually makes it pop right back out.

As time goes by, gravity makes more and more of the intestine try to fall through this gap, and the gap tends to widen. The more it widens, the more intestine tries to emerge. If you don’t wear something to keep the intestine properly inside your abdomen, your hernia could become quite large over the years and the gap can close up around it, preventing it from being pushed back in again. Once this happens, your hernia will be classed as ‘incarcerated’ or ‘non-reducible’. It’s not good, but it’s not life-threatening and lots of people live like this for many years.

However if the piece of intestine becomes swollen, or the muscle gets a spasm for some reason and makes the edges of the gap grip the intestine too tightly, the intestine’s blood supply can get cut off and food cannot pass through it. This is known as strangulation – exactly as if someone has their hands around your neck and is tightening them!

A strangulated hernia is a life-threatening situation and requires immediate emergency surgery.

What are the symptoms of a strangulated hernia?

Any hernia can hurt, but the pain of a strangulated hernia is extremely severe, and the hernia itself is tender to the touch. There is also often some nausea or even vomiting, due to the passage of food down the intestine being blocked. Anyone with these symptoms should be rushed to the emergency room of a hospital straight away, without delay. The only cure for a strangulated hernia is emergency surgery.

How common is a strangulated hernia?

The good news is that a strangulated hernia is not very common. Just be aware of the possibility, and don’t delay in seeking medical attention if you think it has occurred.

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May 24, 2010 Posted by | Inguinal hernia | , | 2 Comments

Do I Need To Wear A Truss For My Hernia?

This is one of the questions we are most frequently asked about hernias treatment, especially by men who feel that their inguinal hernia is quite small and insignificant. Our answer is this.

An inguinal hernia is a part of your intestine bulging through a gap or tear in the muscles of your intestinal wall. When intestines continue to protrude through this gap, they prevent that tear or rupture from healing itself. It’s like trying to heal a cut while keeping your finger permanently in it.

A good hernia support isn’t just helpful to prevent pain and/or discomfort – it forms part of an inguinal hernia treatment by keeping the intestine inside, where it belongs, and so gives the edges of the rupture a chance to come together and hopefully to knit back together again. As far as hernias treatment is concerned, it’s a bit like wearing a plaster cast to support a broken leg while it heals.

To be effective, your hernia support or truss must have pads that remain in contact with your hernia at all times, and do not intrude into the aperture. Rounded pads that bulge inwards can both hinder healing and cause scarring to the edges of the hernia. The Flat Pad Support was designed to support the hernia without intruding into it.

Will Wearing A Support Or Truss Make My Muscles Lazy?
Some individuals are worried that wearing a support will make their muscles lazy. This is completely unfounded and unproven. If it were true, people would not be reporting that their hernias have healed (see Anthony’s story below).

An exercise programme is also an important part of hernias treatment to help heal an inguinal hernia. It is easier to do the exercises if the bulge is controlled by wearing a support.

When Not To Wear A Support
You should not wear a support if your hernia cannot be pushed all the way back in, or if the support causes any pain or discomfort.

Will wearing a support increase the risk of strangulation?
We have not found any evidence that strangulation of the hernia can occur if the hernia is properly supported and kept in. But as always, do check with your doctor if you are experiencing any discomfort or if you are not sure whether your hernia is properly “in”.

Is it true that hernias treatment requires surgery to prevent strangulation?
Strangulation occurs when the gap through which the intestine protrudes, closes up too tightly around the protruding intestine. This may be caused by muscular tension or by the gap attempting to heal. Although there are not yet clinical trials to prove this, wearing a support to keep the intestine inside the abdomen makes it much less likely that strangulation will occur.

More information about the Flat Pad Inguinal Hernia Support from the Support Company

For more information about whether a hernia can heal itself, please visit this section of our Forum.


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April 7, 2010 Posted by | Inguinal hernia, Keeping hernia in, Wearing a support | | 14 Comments