The primary concerns with hernias are that they can entrap, or as we call incarcerate or strangulate, tissues such as fat, blood vessels, and more commonly and worrisome ... the intestines. An incarcerated or strangulated intestine is a true medical emergency. Sometimes, the hernia allows trapped intestinal arterial high pressure blood to go through its opening, but the lower pressure venous blood attempting to return to the abdominal cavity cannot get past the tightness of the hernia opening, and the intestinal tissue becomes more swollen, leaky, tender, and the process becomes a vicious cycle. Bacteria become trapped as well, and the intestine can become completely cut off from its blood supply and perforate, become gangrenous, and can lead to death in the worst case scenario.
If there is pain, nausea, vomiting, tenderness, fevre, blood in the stool, black stool, or a painful lump in the hernia ... it's an emergency and be seen in the emergency room ASAP. Time is tissue ... don't wait. It's SO much easier to deal with and repair hernias when they are not emergencies. See your surgeon and plan for this to be repaired. One year is too long to have waited.
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