Is it dangerous to ignore a hernia?

The normal assumption that revolves around a hernia is that if it is not painful, it can be ignored. This may not always be the case. Hernias that go untreated can enlarge over time and become extremely uncomfortable. In a hiatus hernia, the acid in the stomach flows into the oesophagus and damages it. This leads to the development ulcers, which in extreme cases can bleed. As a result, the patient can vomit blood, requiring emergency treatment. This situation leads to anaemia. Strangulated hernias occur with any type of hernia. It is trapped and compressed tightly rendering it irreducible. Blood supply is cut off to the tissue or the bowel due to the compression. A potentially serious situation, the organ starts to deteriorate, resulting in a painful, red and swollen hernia. The symptoms of such a hernia are severe pain, constipation, nausea and vomiting and fever. An emergency surgical intervention helps release the trapped hernia to restore the blood supply. Recovery for such a procedure is longer than the usual hernia repair. The danger of a hernia is waiting too long to repair it. An umbilical hernia has to be fixed to avoid it getting incarcerated and stuck into the omentum and small bowel tissues. Umbilical hernias have to be repaired else complications could be life threatening.

A hernia development varies from individual to individual. Most gigantic hernias are a result of being ignored initially. Hernias just keep growing bigger. What may start off as a small bulge in the navel may grow into massive proportions over a period of time. At that stage, it becomes graphically evident that the hernia has to be repaired as soon as it is diagnosed.

Hernias can be fixed laparoscopically, with open surgery or with robotic surgery. A robotic surgery can be done with the presence of a camera which helps the surgeon get a better view of the hernia and repair it. The surgical technique purely depends on the anatomy of the individual and preference of the surgeon.

After surgery, hernias seldom recur. But there are cases where hernias do come back. They may either come back in the same place or in another part of the abdomen. A second routine repair operation can be conducted to cure it. When hernias recurrently develop in the same place, expert surgery is required to deal with it.