How is hernia diagnosed and treated​?

Doctors can usually confirm a diagnosis of hernia with a physical examination. For small and painless hernias, doctors may adopt a wait-and-see approach. But growing and painful hernias need surgery. Hernias are repaired by either open hernia repair (herniorrhaphy) or laparoscopic surgery.

  • Open hernia repair
  • The surgeon makes a cut in the groin or at the hernia site and repairs the hernia by closing the defect and covering it up with a synthetic mesh. Recovery may take four to six weeks.

  • Laparoscopic surgery
  • In this minimally invasive surgery, the surgeon makes small incisions in the abdomen and repairs the hernia using mini-surgical tools guided by a tiny telescope affixed with video camera (laparoscope). A mesh of appropriate size is used to cover the defect. Recovery may take one to two weeks. Laparoscopic surgery may not be suitable for large hernias.

What to do if you suspect you have a hernia?

“At first, when the hernia is still small, you may able to push your organs back in and not feel any discomfort, but a hernia will typically get larger and more painful over time, so it’s best to get it checked at an early stage,” says Prof Wong. If you experience acute groin and abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting and blood in the stools, you should get emergency medical help.

Ref: R14