Per recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), face masks are still required in health care settings. You must wear a mask while at a Middlesex Health facility regardless of whether you've been vaccinated.
A hernia is the abnormal exit of tissue, or an organ, through the wall of the cavity where it normally resides, and there are many types. There are hernias that involve the groin, belly button and even the upper stomach, and they can sometimes cause life-threatening conditions.
What to look for
When you have a hernia, you may not experience symptoms. Some hernias, especially smaller ones, may not cause any pain or discomfort, but they may ultimately need treatment.
If you do experience symptoms, you may experience pain and discomfort, usually where your hernia is located. That pain may get worse if you lift something, cough, walk or participate in an activity that increases the pressure on your abdomen.
Go to the Emergency Department if you experience:
A bulge that can’t be pushed back into place
Pain that does not go away
These symptoms can be signs of possible intestinal blockage, and you may need to have surgery to resolve the issue.
When surgery is needed
While it is true that all hernias do not require surgery, Dr. Grigoriy Klimovich, a Middlesex Health surgeon, says all hernias that grow in size or cause anxiety should be repaired, including hernias that do cause pain or discomfort. Most hernias will eventually require surgery, he adds.
Middlesex Health’s surgeons are experienced in treating the many different types of hernias. Depending on your type of hernia, you may have laparoscopic, robotic or open surgery. Very large and complex hernias may require abdominal wall reconstruction.
“This is an easy-to-treat problem, and it should eliminate your pain and discomfort,” Dr. Klimovich says.
Most hernia surgeries are outpatient surgeries, and you are able to go home the same day as the procedure. Your recovery time will depend on what type of hernia is being repaired and the surgical approach used. If you have laparoscopic or robotic surgery, your recovery time is likely to be less.
Regardless, you will still need to take time to recover and be mindful of the items you lift. You will need to take some time out of work, and you will be asked to abide by weight lifting restrictions.
Note: Surgery may not be an appropriate option for individuals who have other medical conditions. It’s important to discuss your best options with your medical provider.
What can you do to prevent (or care for) a hernia?
Very little can be done to prevent a hernia from development. Dr. Klimovich’s best suggestion: don’t gain weight.
Patients who cannot have surgery due to other medical conditions may benefit from a strong support system, such as a hernia belt.
Dr. Dana Kivlin, medical director for the Middlesex Health Center for Continence & Pelvic Health, is treating some patients using Bulkamid, a hydrogel that can provide long-lasting relief of stress urinary incontinence symptoms.