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5 Encouraging Facts About Hernias

5 Encouraging Facts About Hernias

It’s alarming to have a medical problem, especially if it causes strange lumps, bulges, or pain. However, we have encouraging news if your symptoms arise from a hernia.

If you have a hernia, tissue in your body is bulging out of position into an area it doesn’t belong, which occurs when structures meant to hold the tissue in place either weaken or a hole forms. Think of it like a tire. If part of the rubber weakens, it can start to bulge. Eventually, a hole can form, and it no longer holds air. 

A similar issue arises when you have a hernia, except the “air” can be an organ, muscle, or other tissue that starts to escape.

As a solo general surgeon practitioner, Dr. Scott deVilleneuve regularly performs hernia repairs at Surgical Associates of North Texas in McKinney. If you have a hernia, here are a few encouraging facts about your diagnosis.

1. Hernias are common

If you have a hernia, you’re not alone. But did you know several types of this problem can occur anywhere in the body? The most common location affects the inguinal canal in the groin. These hernias account for 75% of all cases — most often with men or those assigned male at birth.

Signs of a hernia include:

Other common hernia locations include the lower chest and abdomen, so they can also cause heartburn, nausea, vomiting, and problems passing gas or moving your bowels.

2. Hernias usually are not life-threatening — if you do not ignore them

Generally speaking, hernias aren’t critical, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be.

In many cases, hernias start small. You can even have a hernia that doesn’t cause any symptoms. However, hernias often worsen over time. And they can cause complications if the protruding tissue gets stuck in the opening it’s pushing through. When this occurs, it can cause severe pain and disrupt the blood supply to the herniated tissue — issues that require urgent medical attention.

If you think you have a hernia, don’t wait to see your doctor.

3. You can prevent some hernias

Hernias form when structural tissue fails, allowing other tissue to push through a barrier. Many causes of structural weakness are beyond your control, but several factors can increase your chances of a problem — mainly strain on your tissue.

Risk factors for hernias include:

To avoid hernias, you should practice healthy weight management, follow a diet high in fiber, and use proper lifting techniques.

4. Hernias do not always require surgery

The only way to repair a hernia involves surgery. However, that doesn’t mean you need surgical intervention immediately. Instead, your doctor makes personalized treatment recommendations based on the size, location, and symptoms associated with your hernia. 

Sometimes, a doctor can monitor small or mild hernias. Then, if it grows worse, you can move forward with surgery to repair and reinforce the weakening tissue. Regardless you should have any suspected hernias evaluated by a surgeon who has the experience to determine which hernias can successfully be watched and which require more timely intervention.

5. Hernia surgeries are typically low-risk

Perhaps most encouraging is that hernia surgeries happen frequently and include few risks. That’s partly because most hernias respond to minimally-invasive methods. Dr. deVilleneuve can often perform complex hernia repairs using tiny incisions, special instruments, and a small camera.

Dr. deVilleneuve can reposition internal tissue that has moved out of place during your hernia repair. Then, he repairs the opening in the tissue that failed and reinforces the area if needed. 

Minimally-invasive hernia repairs have fewer risks and faster recovery times, and also less scarring.

Do you have a hernia? Learn more about surgical repair by contacting Surgical Associates of North Texas today by calling the office or using our online booking feature.

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