It is possible to have a hernia for an extended period of time without knowing, as the symptoms may not always be obvious. Some hernias may cause no symptoms at all, and may therefore go undetected for a time.
Even those with more noticeable signs can go unnoticed, as these symptoms may not be severe enough to interfere with daily activities. Hernias can remain asymptomatic for a few weeks to several months, although more serious cases can require medical attention sooner.
If you experience any kind of pain, discomfort, or swelling in your abdomen or groin area, it’s important to speak to your doctor for an examination. Early diagnosis and treatment of a hernia can reduce the likelihood of serious complications developing.
How long can a hernia go untreated for?
It is not advisable to leave a hernia untreated for an extended period of time. Without treatment, a hernia can become a serious, even life-threatening, medical condition. It is important to seek medical attention as soon as you notice the symptoms of a hernia.
Factors such as size, severity, and location of the hernia can impact the amount of time it can go untreated.
If a hernia is small and not causing too many symptoms, it may be able to go untreated for several months or even years. However, even if the hernia is small, it’s important to regularly monitor it and seek medical attention if symptoms become more severe.
Large hernias can become very dangerous if left untreated and should be treated as soon as possible.
In some cases, the hernia may be difficult or dangerous to repair, and there are other treatment options available. For example, hernia mesh can be used to reinforce the weakened area or it may be monitored and managed with pain medication.
There are pros and cons to each treatment option, so it’s important to speak to a doctor in order to make an informed decision about your treatment plan.
Overall, it is not ideal to leave a hernia untreated for a long time. There are risks associated with delaying treatment such as potential organ entrapment and strangulation, which can cause very serious complications.
If you are experiencing any symptoms of a hernia, it is best to speak to a medical professional in order to understand your treatment options.
Can you live with an untreated hernia?
Yes, it is possible to live with an untreated hernia. However, it is important to understand that a hernia can become worse as time passes, which can lead to greater levels of discomfort and increased risk of complications.
If left untreated, a hernia may become strangulated, meaning that a portion of the intestine gets trapped and its blood supply is cut off. It is also possible that a piece of the intestine may become incarcerated, meaning that the trapped portion cannot be reduced back into its original position, both of which are life-threatening medical emergencies that must be treated quickly.
Additionally, hernias are usually treated with surgical mesh, which is designed to reinforce the weakened area in the abdominal wall in order to help prevent recurrence. Therefore, it is generally advised that individuals with hernias seek medical treatment to reduce their risk of potential complications.
What can happen if you ignore a hernia?
Ignoring a hernia can have serious consequences. Not only can an untreated hernia cause severe pain, it can also put you at risk for other health issues. If left untreated, a hernia can lead to a strangulated hernia where the intestine is trapped inside the abdominal wall, leading to gangrene and eventually death.
In addition, hernias can lead to infection and increased risk of gastrointestinal issues such as constipation, difficulty swallowing, and other digestive problems. As a hernia becomes worse over time, it can also cause the tissue to become weak, leading to an even greater risk of developing an inguinal hernia or a femoral hernia.
Furthermore, ignoring a hernia can lead to a decrease in quality of life, as the person may be limited to certain physical activities. Additionally, ignoring a hernia can result in an inability to work or make it difficult to perform job duties.
To avoid any long-term health problems associated with ignoring a hernia, it is important to get it evaluated and treated by a qualified physician as soon as possible.
How long is too long to have a hernia?
Although hernias can be difficult to detect, it is important to recognize their warning signs and seek medical attention as soon as possible. Ideally, hernias should be addressed and treated soon after they have been identified.
If left untreated, the hernia can become more likely to cause complications, such as tissue death, intestines becoming trapped in the hernia, and potentially a strangulated hernia.
Additionally, hernias can cause severe and chronic pain and be a source of discomfort. As such, it is not advisable to leave a hernia untreated for any extended period of time. The longer the hernia is left untreated, the more likely it is to cause serious discomfort and potentially more serious physical harm.
How do you know if a hernia is serious?
If you believe you may have a hernia, it is important to consult with a healthcare provider to determine if it is serious or not. To diagnose a hernia, the healthcare provider will likely perform a physical examination, where they will look and feel for a bulge or lump in the abdomen, groin, or other areas.
Additionally, they may also perform an ultrasound or other imaging tests.
Signs and symptoms of a hernia include pain, swelling, and tenderness in the area of the hernia, as well as a bulge or lump. If the hernia does not cause pain, it is generally considered not serious.
However, if the hernia is painful and is accompanied by nausea, vomiting, inability to pass gas or bowel movement, or a fever, it should be taken seriously and medical attention should be sought immediately.
Other serious complications that could arise and require immediate medical attention include a hernia that can no longer be pushed back in, redness or discoloration around the hernia, and/or a hard spot or tenderness in or around the hernia.
When should you go to the ER for a hernia?
It is important to seek emergency care immediately if you are having signs of a strangulated hernia, as this could be a medical emergency. Signs of a strangulated hernia include intense pain in the area, nausea, vomiting, fever, and redness and swelling of the lump.
Additionally, if the lump in your groin or abdomen is increasing in size quickly and causing severe pain, you should go to the ER right away. If the hernia has become incarcerated (trapped in the hernia defect) and you are unable to push the lump back in, visit the ER as soon as possible.
Finally, any persistent or severe abdominal pain that does not get better with home remedies or over-the-counter medications should be evaluated by a medical professional in the emergency room immediately.
Can a hernia suddenly get worse?
Yes, a hernia can suddenly get worse. Hernias usually start out as painless lumps or bulges and can become more pronounced or appear more noticeable over time. Without treatment, a hernia may become increasingly uncomfortable and even painful as the tissue pushes through and begins to pull against other organs or tissues.
Additionally, complications that can cause a hernia to worsen suddenly, such as obstruction of the colon, intestine, or stomach, can occur. This can cause severe, sudden abdominal pain and require immediate medical attention.
If you experience severe pain or any other symptoms associated with a hernia, you should seek medical attention right away.
Do hernias get bigger if left untreated?
Yes, hernias can get bigger if left untreated. This is because a hernia develops when the internal tissues of the body push through the abdominal wall. When left untreated, especially if the individual continues putting pressure on their abdominal wall, the hernia can enlarge and grow in size.
This can cause the hernia to become painful, as well as increase the risk of complications such as strangulation, where the hernia is interrupted, or incarceration, where the hernia cannot be pushed back through the abdominal wall.
If a person suspects they have a hernia, they should seek medical attention immediately, so it can be treated accordingly.
What to do while waiting for hernia surgery?
If you have been advised to undergo hernia surgery, it is important that you wait until the surgeon performs the necessary procedure. In the meantime, there are a few things you can do to ensure your health and wellbeing during the wait period.
Firstly, it is important that you continue to adhere to any pre-surgical instructions given by your surgeon. This may include cutting out caffeine and alcohol, increasing your water intake and reducing stress.
Secondly, depending on the type of hernia you have, your doctor may have advised you to avoid physical activity and lifting objects. Make sure that you are following these instructions and that you are taking regular breaks from physical work.
Thirdly, you should start to research the pre- and post-surgery care associated with hernia repair. Talk to your doctor or surgeon if you have any questions and find out what to expect in recovery. Lastly, if you have any hernia-related symptoms such as pain, bloating or vomiting, make sure that you let your doctor know.
They will be able to provide you with management strategies and can adjust or postpone your surgery if need be.
All in all, while it is important to wait until hernia surgery, there are still plenty of things to do in the meantime that can help better prepare you for the procedure and aid in your recovery afterwards.
Do hernias progressively get worse?
A hernia will not necessarily get worse over time, but it can become larger or more painful if left untreated. The hernia can become strangulated if it presses against the wall of the abdomen and causes the blood supply to become cut off, leading to infection or other complications.
If the hernia is small and not causing any pain or symptoms, it is likely not progressing and may require no treatment. For larger or symptomatic hernias, surgical repair may be recommended. Hernias can recur after surgery, so it is important to follow-up with your healthcare provider to ensure the hernia was successfully repaired and is not increasing in size or symptomatic.
What are the first signs of a hernia?
The first signs of a hernia may vary depending on the type of hernia. For example, an inguinal hernia may cause a bulge or lump around the groin or inner thigh area. Other common signs and symptoms of an inguinal hernia may include a dull ache or feeling of heaviness in the area, pain when lifting or straining, increased pain when bending over or coughing, and a feeling of weakness or pressure in the affected area.
An umbilical hernia may cause a soft bulge or swelling near the belly button, flatness when the area is pressed, and discomfort or burning sensation in the affected area. Other common signs and symptoms of a hernia may include a fever, vomiting, constipation, or fatigue.
Hernias can be accompanied by severe pain, so it’s important to see a doctor if you suspect you may have one.
What can be mistaken for hernia?
Hernias can sometimes be mistaken for other conditions, such as muscle strain or an abdominal infection. Hernias often present with pain, tenderness, and swelling around the area of concern. However, some people may experience localized pain or difficulty in performing specific physical activities.
Other conditions that can be mistaken for hernias include gastrointestinal issues, such as heartburn or cramps, or urinary issues, such as a bladder infection. In some cases, the symptoms could be caused by an enlarged lymph node or a tumor in the abdomen.
Because of the wide range of potential causes, it is important to seek medical attention for an accurate diagnosis. Your doctor may conduct a physical examination, imaging tests, and possibly a biopsy to determine the underlying cause of your symptoms.
Do you know immediately if you have a hernia?
No, it is not always immediately apparent if you have a hernia. Hernias can develop gradually over time and the symptoms may go unnoticed for significant periods. Common symptoms of a hernia include pain or discomfort in the abdomen, a bulge in the area of the groin or abdomen, a feeling of weakness or heaviness in the abdomen and difficulty in urination due to pressure from the hernia on the bladder or urethra.
However, many people with hernias experience no symptoms at all and the hernia can go undiscovered for some time. An experienced doctor can usually diagnose a hernia after a physical examination. If additional testing is needed, imaging tests such as X-rays and CT scans may be used to assess the hernia.
What does the early stages of a hernia feel like?
The early stages of a hernia can be difficult to recognize because the symptoms can vary greatly depending on the type of hernia that has developed. In general, the early stages of a hernia can be characterized by a feeling of heaviness or pressure in the affected area.
This is usually accompanied by a noticeable lump in the abdominal wall or groin area, which can sometimes be painless or mild at first. Over time, the lump may become larger, more painful, and warmer to the touch.
Additional symptoms in the early stages of a hernia may include a feeling of weakness or tiredness in the affected area, coughing, and a burning sensation when lifting or straining.