Hernia truss: Can it help an inguinal hernia?

Answers from Michael F. Picco, M.D.

An inguinal hernia occurs when tissue, such as part of the intestine, protrudes through a weak point or tear in the abdominal muscles. The resulting bulge can be painful, especially when you cough, bend over or lift a heavy object. Inguinal hernias are more common in men.

A hernia truss is a supportive undergarment for men designed to keep the protruding tissue in place and relieve discomfort. If you have an inguinal hernia, a hernia truss can help you feel more comfortable temporarily, but it doesn't treat the hernia.

Talk to your doctor if you want to use a truss because a truss might make the hernia worse. It should be used temporarily, if at all.

Surgery is usually needed to repair a hernia. Untreated, a hernia can grow, and serious, even life-threatening, complications can occur.

If your hernia is small and isn't bothering you, your doctor may recommend watchful waiting. If your hernia is causing discomfort, don't rely on a hernia truss. See your doctor to discuss treatment options.

April 21, 2016