Many have opted to postpone medical care during the COVID-19 pandemic to avoid potential exposure to the virus — but some conditions require prompt attention, according to Mountain West Medical Center staff.
Delaying a minor problem could turn into a medical emergency, according to Mountain West Medical staff.
A bulge or pressure or pain when bending, lifting, or coughing, may be caused by a hernia.
Hernias will not go away without medical attention.
A hernia is a condition characterized by a protrusion into an opening. Hernias can occur at any age and in men or women, but are more common in men over age 40.
Hernias most commonly occur in the abdomen as a result of muscle weakness and strain. Some may have a hernia in the belly button, groin, and upper thigh region.
Hernias also can be due to congenital disabilities, injuries, straining activities such as lifting heavy weights, chronic coughing, and even pregnancy.
Hernias can also develop at the site of prior operations.
The most common symptom of a hernia is pain.
Some may notice a lump near the belly button, groin or upper thigh region, or at the site of a prior abdominal operation. In some cases, patients with hernias do not experience any symptoms. Some types of hernias; however, can cause symptoms like heartburn, trouble swallowing and chest pain.
“About 5% of the population will develop abdominal wall hernias,” said Blaine Cashmore, M.D., a surgeon with Mountain West Medical Center. “The most common hernias are in the groin called inguinal hernias, or belly button called umbilical hernias. Most of the time, hernias that cause symptoms should be repaired because they will typically get larger over time. Hernias are an emergency when the intestines protrude through the hernia causing obstructed blood flow. Untreated, these hernias are extremely painful and can rapidly cause the bowel to die, infection to develop, and even cause death.”
The only option to fix a hernia is surgery, according to Cashmore.
For adults, maintaining a healthy weight, regular exercise, and avoiding heavy lifting can help prevent hernias.
Fear of the coronavirus shouldn’t keep people from scheduling an appointment for pain, advises Mountain West Medical Center staff.
Mountain West Medical Center continues to provide enhanced safety precautions during the COVID-19 pandemic including: visitation restrictions; COVID-19 screenings for all employees, visitors and patients; designated care areas for non-COVID-19 patients and disinfecting procedures .
To schedule a consultation with Dr. Cashmore about a possible hernia call 435-228-0061.