Do All Hernias Need To Be Surgically Repaired?

Do All Hernias Need To Be Surgically Repaired?

Like most things in life, there are no hard and fast answers when it comes to treating a hernia. That’s because hernias come in several shapes and sizes. As a result, the only way to know if your hernia requires surgery is through a comprehensive evaluation with an experienced surgeon.

Scott A. deVilleneuve, MD, combines the most advanced techniques, exceptional surgical skills, and more than a decade of experience treating simple and complex medical problems, including hernias.

If you have a hernia, here’s why you should schedule a consultation with Dr. deVilleneuve at Surgical Associates of North Texas in McKinney, Texas.

Hernia basics

There are several types of hernias, but they all share one major issue: a weakness in an area of tissue that stops holding other tissue in place. For example, when you have a hiatal hernia, part of your stomach starts bulging through your diaphragm into your chest cavity.

Hernias can develop anywhere in the body when tissue becomes weakened and strained. Common causes of hernias include:

Your chances of having a hernia also increase if you smoke or have a personal or family history of the condition. 

Once you have a hernia, it won’t heal on its own without surgical intervention. However, not all hernias require treatment immediately.

Hernias and surgery

Generally speaking, the main factors that determine the need for surgery are the size, location, and symptoms of your hernia.

For most people, the most obvious sign of a hernia is a lump or bulge that’s easier to detect when you stand, bend down, or cough. It’s also common to have pain or discomfort in the area and a lump that seems to disappear when you lie down.

Some types of hernias also cause unique symptoms based on their location. For example, a hiatal hernia in your stomach often causes heartburn, chest pain, and trouble swallowing. And you can also have a hernia with no symptoms at all.

If you have a hernia or suspect you have one, it’s essential to consult with an experienced surgeon, such as Dr. deVilleneuve, to determine the best course of treatment. 

Why you shouldn’t ignore a hernia

Even if you have a small hernia that doesn’t require surgery, your doctor needs to watch it closely. 

Hernias can grow larger with time, trigger additional symptoms, and put pressure on surrounding tissue. Similarly, some hernias can also develop complications when bulging tissue becomes trapped or twisted in the opening, a situation that requires immediate medical attention.

So, in situations where hernia surgery isn’t immediately necessary, it’s important to monitor the hernia to know if the situation changes. In some cases, putting off surgery could lead to more repairs and riskier operations later that involve a longer recovery process. The common scenario with most hernias is that over time, both the size of the hernia defect and the amount of material pushing through into the hernia sac will increase, which can then in turn decrease the options that you have to repair it.

Dr. deVilleneuve can treat most hernias using minimally invasive methods and laparoscopic techniques, meaning he can repair the damage using small incisions. However, some hernia repairs require larger incisions to strengthen weak spots and prevent ongoing problems.

If you have a hernia or think you do, Dr. deVilleneuve can give you a thorough evaluation and discuss your next steps. To learn more, call 972-947-2264 or book an appointment online with Surgical Associates of North Texas today.

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