Ask the Nurse

I am a 70 year old woman and I have a pacemaker for atrial fibrillation. I was diagnosed with an inguinal hernia and my physicians do not seem concerned about it. They didn’t explain whether the hernia required treatment and I am worried. What do you recommend regarding my inguinal hernia?

Most studies regarding hernias are conducted on men, so we exercise caution when generalizing treatment to women. In general, treatment for an inguinal hernia is mainly surgical, but is not always necessary.

Patients who experience severe symptoms as a result of their hernia usually elect repair. If your hernia gets "stuck" outside, this suggests that the hernia is "incarcerated" or "strangulated." If your hernia is incarcerated, it is stuck and cannot be pushed back into the abdominal cavity. This increases the risk for strangulation, or a cutoff of the blood supply, which is emergent and should be evaluated by a physician immediately.

I recommend you schedule a visit with a general surgeon who can discuss your options and outline a treatment plan for you. And for more information, please download our Hernia Treatment Guide for more answers on symptoms and treatments.

All my best,
Nurse Mary

January 31, 2015 at 2:20pm