A hernia is a common medical condition that affects more than 700,000 Americans each year. It can occur when tissue from inside the body bulges through the wall of muscle where it lives. Generally, hernias appear in the abdomen or groin and bulge out through the belly button area, abdomen, or along incision sites from previous surgeries. While not all hernias can be prevented, some can. Preventative steps you can take may vary based on the type of hernia you are at risk for.
Steps to prevent an inguinal hernia
Eating a diet full of fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds, legumes and whole grains, combined with exercising, can help you reach and maintain a healthy weight. By maintaining optimal body weight, you reduce your chances of developing a hernia.
Core strengthening exercises can strengthen the muscles in the abdomen and groin and help them stay healthy. Planks are a great core strengthening exercise.
Steps to prevent an incisional hernia
An incisional hernia occurs when an area of the intestine pushes through the abdomen wall at an incision site. Generally, it develops three to six months after surgery as the abdomen is healing from the incision. You are more likely to develop an incisional hernia if you are not in good health or are older in age.
It is essential to follow your doctor’s instructions after you are discharged from the hospital after surgery. Steps you can take to reduce your risk include:
- Limit your activity level.
- Prevent constipation by eating healthy or taking laxatives.
- Avoid sexual activity until the wound is healed.
- Not participating in activities that put pressure on the wound.
- Get treatment for a persistent cough or allergies that may cause you to sneeze forcefully.
- Not becoming pregnant within six months of surgery.
- Avoid weight gain.
Seek care at the Hernia Center of NGMC
The Hernia Center of Northeast Georgia Medical Center (NGMC) is recognized by Surgical Review Corporation as a Center of Excellence for its commitment to providing the highest quality of care for patients who undergo hernia surgery.
As a designated Center of Excellence for Hernia Surgery, NGMC’s surgical outcomes are higher than the national average, while our complication rates remain much lower. Our experienced surgeons have performed more than 5,200 minimally invasive hernia repairs and more than 1,200 robotic hernia repairs using the da Vinci surgical system.