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Can I manage without a surgery for hernia?

Q: I am 35 years old female having a 10 months old baby. Two months back I came to know that I have paraumbilical hernia and after scanning it was found to be 18mm. I don't have any pain nor any other symptoms related to this disease. I would like to know if surgery is necessary for me. Would it be OK to get it done now, as I am feeding my baby? Can I do exercises like cycling, tread mill and other floor exercises? Will the hernia increase in size if I don't undergo surgery? For how long can I postpone it? Will it lead to strangulation?

A:Paraumbilical hernias can lead to complications like strangulation since the hole in the abdominal wall through which the intestine protrudes is relatively small and if a lot of intestines are pushed out through the hole during straining, the loops may not be able to get back into the abdominal cavity thus affecting their blood supply. This is what is meant by strangulation. In this situation an emergency surgery is required and carries a higher risk. Exercises and heavy physical activity can result in increase in size over a period of time. If you live in a major metropolis and have good medical facilities around, you may postpone the surgery till the child is weaned but not later than that to avoid complications and emergency surgery. In my opinion it is best that you have surgery at an early date. Since the child is 10 months old you may now start the weaning process. Once the child is completely weaned off breast milk you may go ahead with surgery.

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