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What’s the best way to treat a hernia?

Assuming that a hernia will get better on its own is a big mistake that can result in additional pain, discomfort and bodily harm. If you suspect that you have suffered this injury, it's critical to discuss treatment options with your medical team.

Surgery is typically the recommended course of action for a hernia, as leaving it to heal on its own increases the risk of future complications. There are three primary types of hernia surgery:

  • Laparoscopic surgery: This is often the preferred method of patients, as it doesn't require a large cut outside the groin or abdomen. Instead, your surgeon makes tiny incisions that allow for the insertion of medical tools.
  • Open surgery: The most conventional form of hernia surgery, it requires an incision at the location of the hernia.
  • Robotic surgery: Much the same as laparoscopic surgery, surgical tools are inserted through small incisions. The primary difference is that a surgeon controls a robot that performs the procedure.

What happens if you avoid hernia surgery?

If you don't treat a hernia in a timely manner, you could suffer a variety of complications, including:

  • Strangulation: If the blood supply to part of the intestine is cut off, emergency surgery is typically required to prevent additional damage.
  • Obstruction: This can cause various side effects, such as extreme pain, vomiting, nausea and a lump in the groin.

If your hernia is a result of your job responsibilities, such as heavy lifting, don't wait to report your injury to your employer. Make sure that you explore your right to workers' compensation benefits.

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