Hernias are quite common, especially in the abdomen and groin. They happen when a weak point in your muscle or connective tissue allows nearby tissue or organs to bulge through.
While you might not notice any symptoms right away, hernia pain is distinct when it happens. It involves sharp aching or burning, especially when you bend down. The pain might be accompanied by a bulge that you can feel or see in the area.
You might assume that it’s safe to ignore hernia pain, much like a muscle cramp that comes and goes. Experienced surgeon Nirav Naik, MD, FACS, urges you not to ignore the pain of a hernia due to the medical risks that come with hernias of all kinds.
At New Life Medical in Bakersfield, California, Dr. Naik and his team perform hernia surgery using minimally invasive laparoscopic procedures when necessary to repair the weak spot and resolve your pain.
When you ignore a hernia by waiting for the pain to pass or diminish on its own, you put yourself at risk of worsening pain and complex complications. Here’s why you should never let hernia symptoms go unchecked.
Pain from a hernia can feel mild, moderate, or severe. You might start out having no symptoms at all despite having an ever-worsening hernia in your groin or abdomen. But hernia pain can get worse over time if you don’t address the underlying problem.
It’s possible for a hernia to stop growing, but it won’t ever go away on its own without intervention. Because you can’t see your hernia, there’s no way of telling how large it has grown. But large hernias mean more extensive and more complex repairs, so it’s best to report your symptoms to a specialist soon after you first notice them instead of waiting for them to improve.
Without treatment, a hernia can get worse in several ways. Severe or even life-threatening complications can arise. You might even need emergency surgery for certain issues that you could have avoided with early intervention.
Dr. Naik can fill you in about the dangers of an untreated hernia, which include complications like:
Hernia strangulation happens when a hernia grows so large that it compromises blood flow to one or more of your organs. This prevents the organ from getting the oxygenated blood it needs to function, leading to countless possible complications, including gangrene, or tissue death. This problem is life-threatening, so you need immediate surgery if this happens.
An incarcerated hernia happens when the contents of a hernia create a blockage in your intestines. Not only are you unable to pass a bowel movement with an incarcerated hernia, but you’re also in a lot of pain and might experience additional symptoms like nausea and vomiting.
When to get help
You should contact your doctor as soon as you experience aching pain or discomfort in your abdomen or groin that increases with activity or exercise. Dr. Naik can confirm a hernia diagnosis and provide the necessary care right away.
While you can minimize your risk of getting a hernia by eating plenty of fiber, staying in shape, and using the proper technique when lifting heavy objects, hernias can still happen at any age due to muscle strain in your groin and abdomen.
If you’re in pain and you think you have a hernia, schedule an appointment online or with a phone call for a hernia evaluation and treatment consultation right away. Dr. Naik can expertly repair your hernia to eliminate your pain and restore your health.