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Hernias | Symptoms | Umbilical | Hernia repair | Recovery | Inguinal | Hernia operation | Surgery risks | Hiatus hernia | After an operation

When a hernia first develops it usually causes mild pain or discomfort. You may feel like something has just given way inside your body but there is no external sign of this. This pain often disappears very quickly, and it's therefore easy to think nothing of it.

However, a few hours, days, or even weeks after this, the most obvious symptom of a hernia appears - a lump. This shouldn't hurt but again you may feel a little uncomfortable. The lump typically gets bigger when you cough, stand up or apply abdominal pressure, and may disappear and reappear seemingly at will. You may be able to push the lump back into your body.

Different types of hernia will cause different symptoms, as will the severity of the problem. Most hernias are minor in nature, and cause few symptoms or health problems. However, if they are left untreated for too long, they may grow and size and increase the likelihood of complications arising.

It's also worth remembering, that the bigger the hernia, the more difficult the operation can be to repair it. This is why it's important to seek medical advice even for the smallest of hernias.

More serious hernias such as the strangulated variety (where the blood supply is cut off to the trapped section) will cause more acute symptoms. Extreme abdominal pain, blood in the stool, constipation, and vomiting can occur. In such cases, you must seek immediate medical assistance.

Hernia symptoms are easy to identify, even for someone with little or no medical knowledge. There is therefore no excuse for failing to make an appointment with your local GP should you experience such symptoms. A hernia won't go away by itself so don't try to convince yourself otherwise. It's only common sense to have a professional look at it. Even if surgery is not required, your local doctor can still advise you on how best to manage the condition.

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