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How is reducible inguinal hernia treated?

Monday, 23 April 2007
Answered by: Dr. Prakash Khanduri
Gastro-Intestinal and Liver Transplant Surgeon,
St. Stephens Hospital & Pushpawati Singhania Research Institute,
New Delhi
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Q. I am 29 years old and was diagnosed with reducible inguinal hernia (left side) an year ago. After subsequent regular check ups, the cough test and other tests were negative. I have been advised to visit after six months. I plan to marry by the end of the year. Onset of summer, I have mild pain in testicles. Also, at the end of the day, I feel a difference in the levels of the testicles. The right one appears to be longer. In the morning while bathing and passing stools the difference is rarely observed. Can hernia cure naturally? Will this have an impact on my married life? How much time should be kept between operation and marriage? Are there any exercises or belts, which can reduce this? Please suggest, as I feel depressed about this and I am unable to concentrate on my work. Should I inform my spouse about this?

A.  The testes develop inside the abdomen and then descend through the inguinal canal in the lower part of the abdomen (groin) and come outside the abdomen in the scrotum. Hernias occur due to weakness of the posterior wall of the inguinal canal. Thus a hernia is due to a defect in the abdominal wall and will not cure naturally. It will get bigger with time. At present the hernia is reducible but there is a possibility it may become irreducible in future and cause intestinal obstruction. It is advisable to get operated soon at a time convenient for you. If you develop pain in the hernia or irreducibility, then you must see your surgeon immediately, as it will require an emergency operation. The presence of an inguinal hernia should not have an impact on married life. Whether you tell your spouse or not is something you must decide, but it is good to be honest and open with someone with whom you hope to spend the rest of your life. Exercises and belts are not recommended as they may worsen the hernia. The two testicles are not always at the same level and this is of no significance. However, if you continue to have pain in testicles, please see your doctor.

A.  The testes develop inside the abdomen and then descend through the inguinal canal in the lower part of the abdomen (groin) and come outside the abdomen in the scrotum. Hernias occur due to weakness of the posterior wall of the inguinal canal. Thus a hernia is due to a defect in the abdominal wall and will not cure naturally. It will get bigger with time. At present the hernia is reducible but there is a possibility it may become irreducible in future and cause intestinal obstruction. It is advisable to get operated soon at a time convenient for you. If you develop pain in the hernia or irreducibility, then you must see your surgeon immediately, as it will require an emergency operation. The presence of an inguinal hernia should not have an impact on married life. Whether you tell your spouse or not is something you must decide, but it is good to be honest and open with someone with whom you hope to spend the rest of your life. Exercises and belts are not recommended as they may worsen the hernia. The two testicles are not always at the same level and this is of no significance. However, if you continue to have pain in testicles, please see your doctor.

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