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Hernias and Treatment

A hernia occurs when a body part pushes through a defect in the structures that hold it in place. For example, the intestines may push through a weakness in the anterolateral abdominal wall. The commonest site in the body for hernias is the groin (i.e. the area or fold between the lower abdomen and the inner thigh). In this area, the hernia commonly occurs through the inguinal canal (the tract that is formed with the descent of the testis in males, and the suspensory fibers for the uterus in the female).

You will normally see a swelling under the skin where a hernia occurs. The swelling may disappear when you lie flat on your back because the contents of the hernia return to their normal position. The swelling may be associated with a dragging sensation when you stand or walk for a long time. Sneezing, coughing, and manual activity may also bring on pain in the hernia.

Occasionally, the swelling will not cause any problems.

It is important that a qualified surgeon confirms the diagnosis of a hernia.

The treatment for hernias of all kinds is the ‘closure’ of the defect through which the body part appears. This requires an operation. The operation is usually arranged as a day-case (the patient leaves the hospital the same day), and the patient is usually back to full activity in one week.

Your surgeon will discuss the treatment of your hernia with you. This will enable you to make an informed decision on what to do, and what to expect.

Our experienced surgical team is prepared to provide total care for your hernia.

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