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Is No Treatment An Option?

“My hernia doesn’t hurt, do I still need treatment?”

Many hernias do not hurt so the temptation is to leave them and get on with life. However, failing to get medical advice can be damaging and is not recommended. If left the hernia will grow and discomfort and pain, even if negligible to start with, will intensify.

Leaving a hernia untreated could affect your quality of life and lead to work absences while delaying surgical repair could make later operations more complex. Furthermore, a hernia could also become strangulated if not treated, which means the bowel becomes trapped in the hernia and its blood supply is cut off. A strangulated hernia can be extremely painful and is considered a surgical emergency

Are there non-surgical options?

Wearing corsets, belts or trusses were common when surgery was dangerous and had a poor success rate. But they are now obsolete because surgical techniques have advanced so much in recent decades and wearing them could cause additional problems. Initially they were designed to stop the hernia popping out but are so rudimentary and offer such little protection that they should not be used.

Scientific research confirmed the need for surgical repair. The results, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) and in the Annals of Surgery in 2006, showed that almost 25% of the non-operated patients converted to surgery.

“This study has confirmed previous findings that most patients with minimal symptoms from an inguinal hernia develop pain over time,” it concluded. “Pain was the most common reason for requesting operation, followed by effect on quality of life and increase in size of the hernia. Surgical repair is recommended for medically fit patients with a painless inguinal hernia.”

The best advice is to locate a specialist and have the hernia repaired as soon as possible.

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Patient information

Our Hospital is renowned for providing exemplary levels of care across more than 90 services. From orthopaedics, to urology, our private GP practice and Urgent Care Clinic, our services are led by some of London’s leading Consultants. For more information, and to find a service suitable for your care, find out more about the services that we offer.

Make an enquiry

If you have any questions relating to treatment options or pricing information, get in touch with us by filling out one of our contact boxes or giving us a call on 020 3370 1014.

Our Appointments Team have a dedicated and caring approach to finding you the earliest appointment possible with the best specialist.

If you are self-paying you don’t need a referral from your GP for a consultation. You can simply refer yourself* and book an appointment.

If you have health insurance (e.g. Bupa, Axa Health, Aviva), you will need to contact your insurer to get authorisation before any treatment, and in most cases you will also require a referral letter from your GP.

If you are not registered with a GP, we have an in-house private GP practice you can use. Alternatively, we can suggest the most appropriate course of action for you to take, given your location and individual circumstances.

*Please note – for investigations such as X-rays and MRIs, a referral will be required. However, we may be able to arrange this for you through our on-site private GP.

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