Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Approximately 5 million Americans have hernias and while most people seek treatment, experts believe that many suffer silently. Dr. Edward Hill discusses hernias in todayís 60 Second Housecall.

A hernia is a protrusion of an organ or tissue through an abnormal opening in the body. The organ can protrude outside the body commonly around the naval, groin or through a surgical incision, or the organ can protrude abnormally inside the body such as a hiatal hernia, where the stomach is pulled up into the chest.

Hernias may be asymptomatic but, if left untreated a hernia can be painful and potentially life threatening. An untreated hernia will not get better on its own, although it may not get worse for months or even years.

Limiting activity or eliminating excess weight may provide temporary relief. And while wearing a truss or binder for external hernias could also provide temporary relief, the only cure is surgery.

While hernias can develop slowly over a period of time they can also come on quite suddenly. Your doctor can tell you more about your condition and treatment options for hernias.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Iím Dr. Edward Hill.