An adult with a hernia was probably born with a weak spot in his lower abdominal wall. As he grew older, and perhaps performed heavy muscular labor, the weak spot slowly enlarged and became an opening in the muscular wall through which a loop of intestine could protrude beneath the skin. Unless corrected, such a condition tends to grow worse. A truss may bring relief, but in adults it seldom leads to a cure. The most effective treatment is surgery.
Beware of the "rupture" quack who claims to cure all kinds of hernia by injection or some other method. Consult a trained and experienced surgeon. Once repaired by such an expert, a hernia seldom recurs.
There is danger in allowing a hernia to go without attention. Sometimes a loop of intestine involved in a hernia becomes pinched, and the passage of fecal material through the intestine is stopped. This is incarcerated hernia. The symptoms are pain, vomiting, and distention. If the condition persists until the tissues begin to deteriorate for lack of blood supply, the hernia is "strangulated." Gangrene of the bowel, peritonitis, and death may result if prompt surgical relief is not obtained.
Hernia (Rupture) Treatment And Prevention
- If a hernia should protrude and resist being pushed back, have the patient lie down on his back, his hips higher than his shoulders, and try gently to replace the bowel loop. Sometimes a warm compress over the area for a few minutes will relax the tissues and make the loop easier to replace.
- If the loop of bowel cannot be replaced, a surgical operation should be promptly performed. Delay is perilous.
- There is serious danger in reasoning that, because a hernia is small, it does not need professional attention. Frequently small hernias carry the greatest hazard.
- Surgical repair is the only truly satisfactory remedy for hernia.