Hernias are common and treatable. Mr Peter Goodfellow answers your hernia FAQs.
Mr Peter Goodfellow, Consultant General Surgeon (available Tuesday AM/Thursday & Friday PM at Claremont)
What is a hernia?
A hernia occurs when an internal part of the body pushes through a weakness in the muscle or surrounding tissue wall. Hernias occur at some specific sites in the body, most commonly in the groin and belly button, but also can occur at the sites of previous surgery (an incisional hernia).
What are the symptoms of a hernia?
A hernia is commonly noticed as a coincidence before it enlarges or is sore. Most commonly patients notice a lump at the site of the hernia, or discomfort at the site. Discomfort at the site may lead to the lump being noticed. When a lump is noticed it is often possible to squash the lump back into the body, and it will often disappear when lying down and there is no pressure on the defect in the muscle.
What is a strangulated hernia?
A strangulated hernia is a complication of hernias. It occurs when the contents of the hernia get stuck in the hernia and the neck of the hernia acts as a tight ring (like an hourglass) and the blood supply to the contents gets cut off where the narrow part is. This can lead to the contents of the hernia becoming gangrenous, and bowel becoming obstructed.
Should I get my hernia repaired?
Hernias never heal spontaneously and tend to gradually enlarge with time. There is a risk of strangulation with hernias, and as time progresses and the hernia enlarges the repair becomes more complex and risk of complications increases. For these reasons repair is recommended for most hernias as soon as they have been diagnosed.
How soon can I return to normal activities if I have a hernia repair?
This depends on the type of hernia and the technique of repair, but for most hernias treated with modern methods the surgery is day case surgery and an early return to normal activities is recommended. For most patients in non-manual jobs a 2-4 week recovery is generally needed.
If you’re worried, book an appointment with Mr Goodfellow today by calling 0114 263 2114.