Baptist Health Madisonville: Repairing an Abdominal Hernia
Surgeon Luke Fife, MD, explains how seeking treatment for an abdominal hernia can relieve pain and discomfort, as well as prevent a potential emergency situation.
Repairing an Abdominal Hernia Health Talks Transcript
Luke Fife, MD, General Surgery
A hernia is a defect in your abdominal wall. You know you have a hernia, most people have pain or swelling, a bulge in their belly wall. It happens worse when they’re bearing down or when they’re standing for long periods of time.
Rose Anna Chafin, Nebo, Kentucky
I lived with my hernia for approximately five years. It was hard for me to lift heavy items. If I lifted too many heavy items, it would cause my hernia to pop out, and the pain just got extreme, and I wasn’t able to handle it anymore.
The natural course of all hernias is to get worse and bigger and more symptomatic with time, so it’s better if you have one, it’s better just to get it fixed. So treatment for a hernia, really surgery’s the only thing you can do for it. You need an operation to fix it, nothing else really works. If you have a bulge, and it doesn’t hurt, you can watch it. You don’t have to have surgery, but I’d recommend it for everyone with a hernia. If you get it and you’re coming in and it’s an emergency, it’s a big deal, where electively we can fix it much easier. I can do them either laparoscopically or open. I almost always fix them with mesh, and it essentially just reinforces your abdominal wall. Where you have these natural weak points, we put the mesh under your abdominal wall, connect the tissue, and put it in just to buttress the repair, and then repair your abdominal wall over that.
I recommend if you’ve been living with it, to go ahead and get it done. It’s life-changing.