If you suspect you have developed a hernia – or if your doctor has officially diagnosed you as having one – you may have been told that you need surgery. In fact, surgery is by far the most commonly-prescribed way to treat this condition.
Whether your hernia is an inguinal hernia or another type, you may or may not be experiencing any pain with the hernia. And, you may find that it comes and goes: sometimes you can see it, other times you cannot.
Hernia surgery simply involves the creation of a small incision near the site of the hernia. In most cases, the surgeon attaches a plastic mesh to the site where the hernia occurred and then sews it back up. The mesh stays in place for the rest of the patient’s life with little or no risk of rejection by the body.
But, what if you are interested in avoiding surgery altogether: are there alternatives?
Alternatives to Hernia Surgery? A Look at the Facts
If you are thinking of avoiding hernia surgery and instead seeking out alternatives to having surgery, here are some facts you should be aware of:
1. A few respectable studies have recommended that patients with some types of hernia may engage in something called “watchful waiting,” which means avoiding surgery while seeing if the condition heals itself. And, some hernia sufferers have claimed that their hernia healed itself after a period of fasting and yoga.
2. Most hernia surgeons, however, warn strongly against the wait-and-see, self-healing approach. Reason: the body can experience some serious complications while the hernia goes unattended, such as intestinal incarceration (getting caught in the muscle) or strangulation – leading to infection or even death. And of course, there is by no means any guarantee that the hernia will heal.
3. Hernia surgery is the safest, most advisable option to treat your hernia – even if your hernia is not currently painful or if it is not always visible.
Hernia surgery is performed very widely and has very high success rates. It requires a moderate post-surgery recovery time during which activity levels and certain movements must be reduced to give the body the chance to heal. While there is some evidence that some individuals have successfully waited out the hernia, this is definitely not the most advisable route, according to most physicians.