It’s easy to forget how complex the human body is. After all, we can only see what’s happening on the outside. However, on the inside, your organs, muscles, and other systems are hard at work. Furthermore, there’s an intricate structure that holds all these parts in place.
And, while strong, even the smallest weakness in this structure can lead to problems. One such problem is a hernia, in which a weakness in this structure allows tissue from a body part to poke through into an area it shouldn’t be.
Scott A. deVilleneuve, MD, treats hernias at Surgical Associates of North Texas in McKinney, Texas. If you have one, you may not require hernia surgery right away. However, your condition won’t go away on its own. In this blog, we explain why.
The problem with hernias
A hernia describes an area where tissue bulges out of position because the structure meant to hold it in place becomes weak or damaged. This can occur in many areas, but they’re most common in the abdomen and pelvis.
Common causes of hernias include:
- Damage from surgery or injury
- Strenuous exercise, such as lifting heavy weights
- Constipation, leading to straining during bowel movements
- Being overweight or obese
- Pregnancy, especially multiple pregnancies
- Chronic coughing
- Conditions like chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD)
- Congenital conditions causing tissue weakness from birth
Many hernias trigger telltale symptoms, such as a noticeable bulge or lump that disappears when you lie down or that you can push back in place. They can also cause a dull aching sensation, pain, or nausea.
It’s even possible for a hernia to cause issues with your digestion, such as heartburn and difficulty swallowing, depending on its location.
What to do about hernias
It’s tempting to hope a hernia will go away on its own. If you can push the tissue back in place, the hole should grow shut, right? Unfortunately, that’s not the case.
The only way to completely resolve a hernia involves surgical repair. These procedures allow a surgeon to strengthen the weakened tissue and close any holes in the area. Think of it as patching a leaky tire. If you don’t fix the tire, it can’t hold air anymore.
However, that doesn’t mean you need to have hernia surgery immediately. Instead, determining the next steps for your hernia involves a close evaluation by Dr. deVilleneuve.
When hernias require immediate surgery
There are several factors to consider when determining whether a hernia should be monitored or surgically fixed right away. For example, Dr. deVilleneuve will consider the following:
- Size of the hernia
- Type and location of the hernia
- Severity of symptoms
If Dr. deVilleneuve recommends hernia surgery, you can rest easy knowing that he uses minimally invasive methods whenever possible. These laparoscopic techniques, which give him the ability to access and repair your hernia through tiny incisions, come with fewer risks and faster recovery times.
Do you have a hernia? Learn more about your treatment options by calling 972-947-2264 or booking an appointment online with Surgical Associates of North Texas today.