Health watch: Local doctor warns don't put off hernia surgery - WRBL

Health watch: Columbus doctor warns hernias do not get better on their own

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Dr. James Majors of the St. Francis Center for Surgical Care says hernias are very common. To repair hernias, doctors use a mesh product to reinforce the damaged area. The mesh over time becomes incorporated into the body. 

Dr. Majors says some people are at a greater risk for developing hernias. He says the obese and smokers stand a much greater chance. Smoking weakens the muscles and makes it hard to secure the mesh. The recurrence rate for hernias in smokers is 100 percent. Dr.Majors says the repair will fail.

"I will not re-repair an incisional hernia on an active smoker, they have to quit smoking first before I'll even offer them surgery. Now I'll do the surgery in an emergency situation.

The mesh is not used in emergency hernia surgeries, increasing the risk of recurrence.

Doctors say if your hernia is not symptomatic, it's ok to watch and wait. But if you are still in the workforce, and your hernia is causing pain, nausea, or keeping you from doing the things you like to do, that's when you need surgery. Hernias do not get better or go away on their own.


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