Hernias are at best a nuisance and a highly painful experience at worst. If you feel a bulge in your abdomen or groin that wasn’t there before, you may be experiencing a hernia.
Most hernias aren’t all that dangerous, and not all hernias require surgery. So, can a hernia heal itself? Can a hernia go away on its own? Let’s find out.
A hernia is what happens when tissue protrudes through the outer muscle or connective tissue, usually in the abdomen or the groin.
Not all hernias are dangerous, but all hernias should be monitored by the patient. Once a hernia becomes painful or starts to cause uneasiness or discomfort, it may be time to get it fixed.
● Inguinal hernia: the most common type of hernia. This happens when part of the bowel or fatty tissue bulges through a weakness in the lower abdomen around the groin.
● Femoral hernia: less common than inguinal hernia. This happens when the protrusion comes out at the inner thigh.
● Umbilical hernia: Most common in infants. Happens when the protrusion occurs near the belly button.
● Epigastric hernia: A midline hernia, seen above the navel. This happens when fatty tissues push through the upper abdominal wall.
● Spigelian hernia: one of the rarest types of hernia. The bowel protrudes below the navel, on the outer side of the abdominal muscle.
Hernias generally do not go away on their own. If you are an adult, there is no way for a hernia to simply heal itself or put itself back in place. However, there are non-surgical ways to relieve a hernia temporarily. Manual hernia reduction is a non-surgical procedure performed by a physician that can reduce a hernia, but it will not heal the hernia. Instead, it relieves the protrusion temporarily.
Not all hernias can be manually reduced, though, and manual reduction is just a temporary fix to relieve pressure and discomfort. Never try to reduce a hernia yourself!
Umbilical hernia, which is somewhat common among newborns and young infants, can sometimes heal on its own. In most umbilical hernia cases, the doctor will keep tabs on it as the infant grows. Learn more about umbilical hernia repair in this article!
Manual reduction and other types of relief, such as wearing corsets or binders, are not replacements for surgery. Surgery is the only way to fix a hernia in the long term.