Can I self-diagnose a hernia?

Published: Tuesday, February 2, 2021

I think I have a hernia. Can I self-diagnose? 

Do you have an ache in your belly or groin that you think may be a hernia? Unfortunately, hernias often cause pain or discomfort and do not go away on their own.  

A hernia occurs when the contents inside the abdomen bulge outward. While there are a variety of different types of hernias, the most common ones occur in the abdomen or groin. 

Hernias can affect both men and women but are more likely to affect men. The most common sign of a hernia is a bulge on the outer area of the abdomen. You may also feel mild pain or a sensation of pressure in the affected area. Generally, the discomfort will worsen with activities that put strain on the abdomen. Activities such as weightlifting, running or pushing a lawnmower up a hill may cause these sensations.  

Because symptoms of a hernia could also be signs of other more serious conditions, it is important to be evaluated by your doctor if you think you may have a hernia.  

The good news is that most hernias can be repaired with minimally invasive surgery – which has a low complication rate – and you can usually get back to your normal routine quickly. 

At the Hernia Center of Northeast Georgia Medical Center (NGMC), our experienced surgeons have an unsurpassed record of quality care, including:  

  • < 1% of patients returned to the operating room 
  • <1% of patients were readmitted to the hospital 
  • < 1% of patients had a subsequent hernia 
  • All inguinal hernias without complicating factors go back to work after 1 week for light-duty (no lifting over 15 pounds) and full duty at 2 weeks after surgery without restriction 
  • Most patients do not need narcotic pain medication after robotic inguinal hernia repair 

What does this mean for you? You can get back to living with minimal downtime and fewer complications.  

Next Steps

If you think you have a hernia, schedule your appointment by calling 770-219-4040 or requesting an appointment. 

About the Hernia Center of Northeast Georgia Medical Center  

NGMC’s team of experienced hernia surgeons, led by Drs. Chad Copper and Ron Lewis, are among an elite group of surgeons nationally recognized for their commitment to improving the quality of care for patients who undergo hernia surgery. You can trust that you will receive the highest quality care possible at the Hernia Center. 

The surgeons at the Hernia Center have performed more than 5,300 minimally invasive hernia repair procedures and more than 1,300 robotic hernia repair surgeries using the da Vinci surgical system.  

Robotic hernia repair utilizing the da Vinci Surgical System is changing the experience of surgery for patients. Through cutting-edge technology, more complicated procedures can be performed through smaller incisions providing patients a faster recovery with less pain.