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Inguinal Hernia - Topic Overview

If you have a hernia, it will not heal on its own. Surgery is the only way to treat a hernia.

If your hernia does not bother you, you most likely can wait to have surgery. Your hernia may get worse, but it may not. In some cases, hernias that are small and painless may never need to be repaired.

Most people with hernias have surgery to repair them, even if they do not have symptoms. This is because many doctors believe surgery is less dangerous than strangulation, a serious problem that occurs when part of your intestine gets trapped inside the hernia.

But you may not need surgery right away. If the hernia is small and painless and you can push it back into your belly, you may be able to wait.

Babies and young children are more likely to have tissue get trapped in a hernia. If your child has a hernia, he or she will need surgery to repair it.

A hernia may come back after surgery. To reduce the chance that this will happen, stay at a healthy weight. Do not smoke, avoid heavy lifting, and try not to push hard when you have a bowel movement or pass urine.

Learning about inguinal hernia:

Being diagnosed:

Getting treatment:

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WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: November 15, 2012
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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