News & Events Risks of Leaving a Hernia Untreated

Risks of Leaving a Hernia Untreated

With some medical issues it is acceptable to follow the watch and wait approach. When it comes to a hernia, you can’t be so nonchalant or procrastinate. There are too many serious risks of leaving a hernia untreated for very long.

Why We Develop Hernias

There are a number of situations which seem to be linked to the development of a hernia. They include smoking, persistent coughing or sneezing, obesity, unstabilized heavy lifting, straining during bowel movements, previous abdominal surgery, pregnancy, or a weakness from birth.

Even If It Doesn’t Hurt

Just because a hernia has no symptoms at the moment doesn’t mean you should ignore it. Hernias do not go away on their own. They just continue to grow, and eventually, you will have uncomfortable symptoms and a bulge. Yes, sometimes they grow slowly, but they will continue to grow.

Watching and waiting makes no sense unless you are waiting for an emergency to occur before you do anything about it.

Reasons Not To Wait

There are several crucial risks of leaving a hernia untreated.

They include the following:

  • If you wait years to treat a hernia, you are older and it may be more difficult to recover from the surgery.
  • Waiting means Dignity Health Medical Group will be treating a larger hernia, and larger hernias are more difficult to repair. There are more painful symptoms and possible complications.
  • You risk the chance you will develop a bowel obstruction or an incarcerated hernia. This emergency occurs when the intestines push through the abdominal wall and become pinched, preventing your bowels from functioning properly. The result is waste build-up and a rupture. Sepsis and possible death can be the result.
  • Another serious risk of leaving a hernia untreated is a strangulated hernia. When blood flow to the hernia is cut off, the tissue will die. The toxins can spread into the bloodstream and this is another emergency.

Signs of an Emergency

Contact Dignity Health Medical Group immediately if you have any of these emergency signs: nausea and vomiting, severe and sudden pain, constipation, burning at the hernia site, bloody stools, skin color change near the hernia, and a rapid heartbeat.

Don’t wait for complications or an emergency to have a hernia treated. 

Contact Dignity Health Medical Group at (602) 582-5233 for treatment if you have a hernia or if you suspect you may have one.