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Hernias Don’t Go Away Without Help

Sep 2, 2020

Many have opted to postpone medical care during the COVID-19 pandemic to avoid potential exposure to the virus. But if you are experiencing pressure or pain when bending, lifting, or coughing, you may have a hernia that won’t go away without medical attention.

A hernia is a condition characterized by a protrusion of an organ into an opening. More common in men over age 40, hernias typically occur in the abdomen as a result of muscle weakness and strain. Some may have a hernia in the belly button, groin, abdominal wall, and upper thigh region. Hernias also can be due to congenital disabilities, injuries, straining activities such as lifting heavy weights, chronic coughing, and even pregnancy.

The most common symptom of a hernia is a bulge or lump on your pubic bone. Some may notice a lump near the belly button, old surgical scar, abdomen, groin, or upper thigh region. In some cases, patients with hernias do not experience any symptoms. Some types of hernia; however, can cause symptoms like pain, discomfort, swelling, tenderness, pain on walking or performing tasks.

“About 5% of the population will develop abdominal wall hernia,” said Dr. Tamer Aiti, General Surgeon, Union County Hospital. “About 75% of these individuals will have an inguinal hernia, a protrusion of the abdominal wall. Inguinal hernias turn severe when the intestines protrude into the scrotum, obstructing blood flow. Untreated hernias are extremely painful for patients and can become gangrenous, which is fatal.”

The only option to fix a hernia is surgery. For adults, maintaining a healthy weight, regular exercise and avoiding heavy lifting can help prevent an inguinal hernia.

Fear of the coronavirus shouldn’t keep you from scheduling an appointment for pain. At Union County Hospital, enhanced safety precautions continue according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and state health department authorities, including:

  • Visitation restrictions
  • COVID-19 screenings for all employees, visitors and patients before surgery
  • Designated care areas for non-COVID-19 patients
  • Disinfecting procedures

If you suspect you have a hernia, schedule a consultation, call 618-833-2872. Delaying a minor problem could turn into a medical emergency.