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What's the Best Treatment for a Hernia?

A hernia is a medical condition in which an organ or bodily tissue protrudes through your muscles and creates a visible bulge in your skin. Hernias are commonly located in the abdomen or groin.

Anyone can get a hernia, and the cause is often a combination of muscle weakness and strain. A hernia can appear quickly as a result of strenuous activity like lifting heavy objects, or it can develop over time.

Hernias don’t always cause pain. But if left undiagnosed and untreated, they can cause severe pain and even life-threatening complications. If you notice a bulge and think it might be a hernia, don’t wait to seek treatment.

Elvira Klause, MD, offers the best in hernia treatment and repair to people of all ages living in the San Clemente, California, area. Contact us to book an appointment for comprehensive hernia care.

Begin with watchful waiting

There’s a wall of muscles in your abdomen that works to keep your internal organs in place, including your bladder and intestines. If the muscles are weak or undergo excessive strain, organs can push through and form a bulge.

Different types of hernias appear in different areas, but there’s almost always a visible bulge below the surface of your skin. When you visit our office, Dr. Klause begins by performing a physical exam to diagnose your hernia.

Once she determines the type of hernia you have and its severity, she often recommends watchful waiting before proposing hernia repair surgery. Lifestyle changes and close monitoring might be her first recommendation for small hernias that aren’t painful. Losing extra pounds to achieve a healthy weight and quitting smoking can stop hernia progression. 

For some patients, watchful waiting and routine exams are enough to prevent future complications. But hernia symptoms can get worse over time. Continual strain can cause the hernia to grow and put you at risk for strangulation of the gut and tissue death.

If your hernia is painful from the start, it may require immediate surgery to prevent these severe complications. 

When it’s time for surgical hernia repair

Surgery is the only way to permanently repair a hernia. Dr. Klause offers open surgery and laparoscopic surgery to repair hernias, and the right type of surgery depends on the location, size, and type of your hernia.

In open surgery, she makes an incision in the abdomen and repairs the muscle wall. If laparoscopic surgery is right for you, she uses a small incision and camera to guide the repair procedure. Most hernia repairs utilize sutures (stitches), mesh, or a combination of both to close the muscle wall.

Hernia repair surgery generally takes about 30 minutes. Most patients can go home the same day. Dr. Klause gives you instructions for recovery that you should follow closely, including coming to all of your follow-up appointments. 

Hernia surgery is a safe and effective option to close the hole in your muscle wall and repair the hernia to relieve pain and prevent complications in the future. 

Whether your hernia is painful or not, it’s important to get a professional evaluation to help prevent complications. If your best treatment option is hernia repair surgery, trust Dr. Klause. Request an appointment online or call our office today.

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