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  • Surgical Associates of Houston

Common Myths About Hernias and Hernia Surgery

Hernias are a common medical condition, yet they are often misunderstood. Myths and misconceptions can create unnecessary fear and confusion, preventing individuals from seeking timely medical care. In this blog, we’ll debunk some of the most common myths about hernias and hernia surgery.

Myth 1: Only Men Get Hernias

Fact: While it's true that men are more likely to develop inguinal hernias, women and children are also susceptible to various types of hernias, such as femoral, umbilical, and hiatal hernias. It's important for everyone to be aware of the symptoms and seek medical advice if they suspect a hernia.

Myth 2: Hernias Will Heal on Their Own

Fact: Hernias do not heal on their own. In fact, they can worsen over time. A hernia occurs when an organ or tissue pushes through a weak spot in the muscle or surrounding tissue wall. Without treatment, the hernia can grow larger and lead to complications such as strangulation, where the blood supply to the affected tissue is cut off. Surgical intervention is often necessary to repair the hernia and prevent further issues.

Myth 3: Hernia Surgery Is Extremely Risky

Fact: Like any surgery, hernia repair carries some risks, but it is generally considered safe and routine. Advances in surgical techniques, especially minimally invasive procedures like laparoscopic surgery, have significantly reduced the risks and improved recovery times. Most patients can return to normal activities within a few weeks.

Myth 4: Lifting Heavy Objects Is the Only Cause of Hernias

Fact: While heavy lifting can contribute to the development of a hernia, it is not the sole cause. Hernias can result from a combination of factors including genetics, age, chronic coughing, obesity, pregnancy, and previous surgeries. Some hernias are present at birth due to congenital weakness in the abdominal wall.

Myth 5: You Can Always See or Feel a Hernia

Fact: Not all hernias produce visible bulges or can be felt. Some hernias, like hiatal hernias, occur internally and may not present with obvious physical signs. Symptoms such as pain, discomfort, or acid reflux may be the only indicators. It's important to consult a healthcare provider if you experience any unusual symptoms.

Myth 6: Resting and Avoiding Physical Activity Will Cure a Hernia

Fact: Rest and avoiding strenuous activity might alleviate some symptoms temporarily, but they will not cure a hernia. The only definitive treatment for a hernia is surgical repair. Ignoring a hernia can lead to increased pain and potential complications over time.

Myth 7: All Hernia Surgeries Are the Same

Fact: There are different types of hernia surgeries tailored to the specific type and location of the hernia. Options include open surgery, laparoscopic surgery, and robotic-assisted surgery. The choice of procedure depends on factors such as the size and type of the hernia, the patient's overall health, and the surgeon's expertise.

Myth 8: Recovery from Hernia Surgery Takes Months

Fact: Recovery times have improved significantly with advancements in surgical techniques. Many patients undergoing minimally invasive hernia repair can return to light activities within a few days and resume normal activities within a few weeks. Full recovery times can vary depending on the individual and the type of surgery performed.


Dispelling these common myths about hernias and hernia surgery can help individuals make informed decisions about their health. If you suspect you have a hernia or have been diagnosed with one, it’s important to consult with a healthcare professional to discuss the best treatment options. Early intervention and proper medical care can prevent complications and ensure a smoother recovery process.

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