“Will my hernia heal on its own?”
That’s one of the most common questions we hear from our patients at the Hernia Center of Northeast Georgia Medical Center (NGMC). Unfortunately, the answer is no; your hernia will not heal on its own.
While there are some measures you can take to temporarily relieve pain, the best long-term solution to effectively treating a hernia is through surgery.
Untreated Hernias Can Lead to Complications
It’s important to seek medical attention right away if you think you may have a hernia. Delaying treatment of your hernia or leaving it untreated can lead to serious complications which may result in severe pain, nausea or constipation, and in some cases, intestinal strangulation (when a trapped section of the intestines isn’t getting enough blood).
While some hernias require immediate surgery to avoid such complications, others may be scheduled a little farther out. But that doesn’t mean you have to live with the pain and discomfort until you can be treated by an experienced hernia surgeon.
Temporary Relief Measures for Hernias
Below are some at-home measures you can take to relieve hernia pain temporarily while you await surgery:
- Avoid lifting heavy objects, and strenuous exercise or activity, which may result in increased pressure and strain that could worsen your hernia. Stick to light and low-impact exercises like walking or swimming and avoid any exercises or activities that cause discomfort.
- Maintain a healthy weight. Extra weight can exacerbate hernia pain. If you have a hernia and you’re overweight, losing a few extra pounds may improve hernia symptoms and can help you avoid complications.
- Modify your diet. A healthy diet can play a big role in controlling hernia symptoms, especially for people with hiatal hernias (where part of the stomach bulges upward through an opening in the diaphragm). Avoiding foods high in acidity and others associated with heartburn and indigestion can also help. Additionally, eating smaller meals and avoiding foods that may cause constipation can also provide relief for other types of hernias.
Surgery to Repair Your Hernia
The tips above may provide short-term non-surgical relief from hernia symptoms, but they’re not intended to replace surgery. While your surgeon will assess your case specifically and determine the best surgery approach based on the type of hernia and its severity, most hernia surgery repairs done at the Hernia Center of NGMC are minimally invasive and generally lead to less pain and offer a short recovery time.
Choosing the Right Hernia Specialist
Selecting an experienced hernia surgeon with a high level of technical skill will significantly reduce the risk of recurrence or other complications. At the Hernia Center of NGMC, our hernia repair surgeons are highly skilled in open, laparoscopic and robotic hernia repair and each perform between 15 to 30 hernia surgeries a month. This experience translates to below average complication rates, with less than one percent of patients returning to the operating room, needing readmission to the hospital or developing a recurring hernia.
Schedule Your Appointment Today
If you are experiencing signs or symptoms of a hernia, our specialists at the Hernia Center of Northeast Georgia Medical Center can help.
As Georgia’s first accredited Hernia Surgery Center of Excellence, NGMC offers you access to hernia specialists who offer the most advanced robotic and minimally invasive surgical techniques for hernia repair.
Call 770-219-4040 to speak to our care team about questions or to schedule an appointment.