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.

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