You can't prevent the congenital defect that makes you susceptible to an inguinal hernia. You can do things to reduce strain on your abdominal muscles and tissues, however. For example:
March 20, 2013
- Maintain a healthy weight. Talk to your doctor about the best exercise and diet plan for you.
- Emphasize high-fiber foods. Fruits, vegetables and whole grains contain fiber that can help prevent constipation and straining.
- Lift heavy objects carefully or avoid heavy lifting altogether. If you must lift something heavy, always bend from your knees — not your waist.
- Stop smoking. Besides its role in many serious diseases, smoking often causes a chronic cough that can lead to or aggravate an inguinal hernia.
- Avoid relying on a truss. Wearing a supportive garment designed to keep hernias in place (hernia truss) doesn't correct the underlying problem or help prevent complications. Your doctor might recommend a hernia truss for a short time before surgery to help you feel more comfortable, but the truss isn't a replacement for surgery.
Feldman M, et al. Sleisenger & Fordtran's Gastrointestinal and Liver Disease: Pathophysiology, Diagnosis, Management. 9th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2010. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/about.do?eid=4-u1.0-B978-1-4160-6189-2..X0001-7--TOP&isbn=978-1-4160-6189-2&about=true&uniqId=229935664-2192. Accessed Jan. 8, 2013.
- Goroll AH, et al. Primary Care Medicine: Office Evaluation and Management of the Adult Patient. 6th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2009. http://gateway.ovid.com/ovidweb.cgi?T=JS&MODE=ovid&PAGE=main&D=baov&PCOSTART=goroll. Accessed Jan. 8, 2013.
- Inguinal hernia. National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse. http://digestive.niddk.nih.gov/ddiseases/pubs/inguinalhernia/#what. Accessed Jan. 8, 2013.
- Mizrahi H, et al. Management of asymptomatic inguinal hernia: A systematic review of the evidence. Archives of Surgery. 2012;147:277.
- AskMayoExpert. What are the most common types of hernia that occur in children? Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2012.
- Matthews RD, et al. Inguinal hernia in the 21st century: An evidence-based review. Current Problems in Surgery. 2008;45:261.
- Karthikesalingam A, et al. Meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials comparing laparoscopic with open mesh repair of recurrent inguinal hernia. British Journal of Surgery. 2010;97:4.