Published February 10, 2021
Hernias usually start off small and have no symptoms, but with time many grow larger. Once you begin to have pain and discomfort, pay attention. Here are several reasons why you should never ignore hernia symptoms.
Don’t Mess With Hernias
Don’t ignore them and definitely don’t underestimate them. Maybe you only notice them when you lift something heavy, strain during a bowel movement, or are engaging in physical activity. That doesn’t mean you can ignore a hernia because you are only affected occasionally by symptoms.
Over time your hernia can continue to grow larger and your symptoms will become more chronic. This can lead to severe complications if left untreated.
Intestinal blockage or obstruction may occur if the herniated bowel is blocked to a point where waste cannot pass. This is sometimes known as hernia incarceration. This is a serious hernia complication and should be treated as soon as possible.
Symptoms of an intestinal blockage include the following:
- Sudden and severe pain in the abdomen
- Painful lump in the groin
A strangulated hernia causes blood flow to be compromised to a nearby organ or tissue leading to ischemia or cell death and gangrene. This is a life threatening situation and requires immediate hernia surgery.
Symptoms of a strangulated hernia should not be ignored. They include some of the same symptoms as an incarcerated hernia, but in addition they include the following:
- Sudden abdominal pain that grows worse
- Bulge under the skin that turns purple, red, or dark
- Bulge grows quickly and hardens
- Inability to pass gas or stool despite having the urge
These symptoms can come on quite quickly, so call 911 or Dr. Barba immediately. In order to repair a strangulated hernia, the surgeon needs to remove the trapped tissue which often means removing part of the intestine.
All of this can be avoided if you don’t delay treatment of a hernia once you begin to have symptoms.
Contact Dr. Carlos A. Barba for an evaluation if you are having any symptoms of a hernia. Dr. Barba is a board-certified surgeon specializing in diagnosing and treating hernias. Call (956) 621-4981 to schedule an appointment at our office in Harlingen and Brownsville, TX today!