PREVENTION

HOW CAN I PREVENT GETTING A HERNIA?

Hernias are common.

The lifetime risk of inguinal herniation is approximately 27% for men and 3% for women.

In England, from 2001 - 2002, around 70,000 operations were performed for inguinal hernias.

Generally you cannot prevent the weakness in the abdominal wall that leads to you getting a hernia but not smoking avoiding constipation and maintaining a healthy weight should reduce the risk.

If you already have a hernia or have had a hernia repaired in the past you can prevent them from getting worse or coming back if you follow these 5 simple points:

  • Avoid heavy lifting if possible.
  • If you need to lift heavy objects, use your legs and not your back.
  • Don’t get constipated or have to strain during a bowel movement.
  • Maintain a healthy weight.
  • Don’t smoke.

10-15% of people who have had an abdominal operation will develop an incisional hernia.
If you have had a recent abdominal operation, following this advice can also help to prevent you developing an incisional hernia at the operation site.