Can hernias heal without surgery?Posted by John Fortem on August 3, 2018 at 9:54 am
If you don’t believe that hernias can heal without surgery, then I am a living proof that they can and do. I have had a right-sided inguinal hernia for about 8 years now. I still do! But a few years after the initial hernia on my right side, I started having a left-sided hernia, where the bulge would appear on the left side and disappear on the right side. This has happened a couple of times, each time it would stay on the left side for a few days, and then return to my right side and disappear on the left side. I never had it on both sides at the same time. If you read on about hernias you will find that this is normal, it can and it does wander like that from one side to the other. A couple of months later, it disappeared on the left side and moved back to my right side and has stayed on the right side for at least the last 5 years.
So I still have my hernia. But it no longer presents itself on the left side. Why do you suppose that is?
What you need to know is that my hernia is small or medium-sized. The size can vary actually. Because my hernia is reducible. I go to bed at night with a hernia and I wake up in the morning without a hernia. That has been my lift for the past 8 years. I never push on it, it gradually goes back in all on its own when I lay down on my back. I usually fall asleep before it does that, so I have no idea how long that takes, but I would guess it takes at least an hour or so. As I go on with my day, take my morning coffee and dress up, it usually slides back out. Also note that my hernia is asymptomatic, meaning I have no pain in my groin or tangling sensations. But what I have learned is that a hernia can disrupt normal intestine function.
As of late, I have had periods of 1 to 2 days where my hernia would not poke out when I get up in the morning. Currently I have beaten my own record and I am into my day 3 without the hernia. It will poke out eventually, as it always does, I’m sure of it. It just plays tricks on me. But these experiences have made me question everything I thought I knew about hernias.
What are your thoughts on hernias that heal on their own? Are there any records of people whose hernias have healed on their own? If there are, they are difficult to find, or these people are simply staying quite about it and go on with their lives.
MemberMay 14, 2020 at 6:55 pm
Obviously, you have to combine this with supplements that improve you collage formation: Vit C, Lysine, Proline, Peptides, Gelatin, etc.
MemberMay 14, 2020 at 6:48 pm
I think exercises can help if one has a small direct hernia. The exercises that George suggest comes from Dr. Andrew A. Gour, Therapeutics of Activity book. There are 4 or 5 supposed 5 year testimonials on other hernia forums.
Unfortunately, my experience was that they enlarged the hole in my medium size indirect hernia, so they must be done with great caution. If they in anyway worsen your condition by making the hernia large, then stop. Again, Dr. Gour says his exercises really only helped people with direct hernia.
I now would not attempt exercises until you know the actual cause of the hernia intuitively after lots of research. I know the medical community does not believe in causes, but it is the thing that causes the greatest increase in inner abdominal pressure that you were into at the time you noticed the hernia. For me it was fiber as in Monstyrisky’s book The Fiber Menace. Then after attending to you personal cause, and having a direct small hernia, I would try them. But always surveying your hernia afterwards carefully each day or nite.
MemberJanuary 17, 2020 at 9:51 am
This is one of the nicest posts I have seen so far….and @drtowfigh answer was a truly interesting one, and one you will not hear much from other doctors!
For the exercises that have been discussed, I would add from my own experience that perhaps one should check if they work for them, as some of them can exacerbate back pain. In general from the 7 or 8 that you can find on YouTube I have started doing 2 or 3 that I like and do not put my back under stress (that is just me, mind you)..
As for the medicine and the medical community consensus, let me tell you an anecdote: some 40 years ago it was believed that the meniscus did not play any important role in the human body, and so many people with a say knee injury were operated where the meniscus was simply and totally removed! I don’t need to tell you what the consequence of that for the patients was, and we know a great deal more about the role of the meniscus now (thank God)…
BTW we often hear that this or that works 90% of the times, or that only 5% of people really recover from this or that disease….well it is time we move to worrying about the 10% who do not respond to treatment, and if I have something serious I WANT TO HEAR ABOUT THE 5% WHO RECOVERED AGAINST ALL ODDS…especially considering the big number of variables at play…
MemberJuly 6, 2019 at 8:10 pm
Is there perhaps an additional/alternate use for belts/trusses that’s being overlooked? As more and more people become skeptical of mesh, but tissue repair recurrence rates remain (theoretically) high, might it not be appropriate to use such a device during the post-op period? Would it not make sense that such adjunctive support could help the repair fully heal whereas one’s normal life would otherwise put too much stress on it too early?
MemberJuly 5, 2019 at 1:46 pmquote pinto:
I can understand your point of misdiagnosis which does happen. Here is more information. My family doctor checked my hernia manually and he said he was confident they were hernias but he still send me to get an ultrasound. The lady who did the ultrasound said I definitely had hernias. I went to the surgeon my family doctor sent me to and he was sure I had the three hernial just by doing the cough test. He did not even look at the ultrasound and said we can tell if someone has an hernia without the ultrasound. He recommended surgery by I walked out without deciding to get one.
I am a side sleeper and used to sleep in a fetal position but then I changed my sleeping position by straightening the bottom leg which put me in the same position you assume when you do a floor abdominal stretch. After sleeping in this position for about a year developed the pains. . I noticed that this new sleeping position, floor abdominal stretch, was putting tension on my lower abdomen. I went back to sleeping in a fetal position with both of my knees bent together and the next day I had about a 50% reduction in pain, as I stated my IHs went away for good after three days and the third hernia after about two months.
I went back to my family doctor for my next annual check up and I asked him to check my hernias. He just checked the one below my navel and said that when I coughed he felt that something started to push out and then it stopped. I asked him if the first time he checked there was any difference and he said that the tissue was definitely pushing out significantly more for him to say I had a hernia where now I didn’t in his opinion. He asked me what I did and I told him and then he said that he was going to tell his patients who have the same problem to try that.
I have gone back to sleep in a floor abdominal stretch position and after three days my entire lower abdomen for left to right feels sore. I go back to sleeping in a fetal positiion and the soreness goes away after a few day. I also noticed that if I lie down on my back I feel tension on my lower abdomen and that when I lied down in a fetal position my entire abdomen feels very relaxed,
MemberJuly 2, 2019 at 8:14 pm
I’m a late comer on this truly interesting topic.
Healing a hernia without surgery is quite a philosophical questions these days of mesh-era.
I think in future, when mesh-era is gone and surgeons invest in research on hernia physiology again, they’ll find subtle details that will allow them to treat an hernia without surgery, perhaps direct hernias first.
Don’t ask me to substantiate this too much, but I believe hernia sac will be the key. A defect in the wall isn’t enough, that’s why a congenital indirect hernia can show up only decades later. There must be additional factors which are random events, like hernia sac formation.
If you asked a doctor 50 years ago if it would be possible treating a peptic ulcer without surgery he’d think you were nuts. Yet, today most such ulcers are treated with potent antacids and sometimes antibiotics, too. Thanks to understanding pathophysiology of peptic ulcer.
MemberJuly 2, 2019 at 2:13 pm
Webster’s definition of a hernia: [h=2]Definition of hernia[/h] a protrusion of an organ or part (such as the intestine) through connective tissue or through a wall of the cavity (as of the abdomen) in which it is normally enclosed
How can the sides of a cavity grow back together when there is an organ separating the two?
MemberJuly 1, 2019 at 12:05 am
Let me iterate: there is no scientific evidence that physical exercise heals an IH; that is, the “hole” or gap–which is what a hernia is–remains open. It is not sealed by exercise. What is scientific evidence? For example, a cogent definition: “Results when a theory or hypothesis is tested objectively by other individuals such as in an experiment or in a controlled environment.”
I have merely asked this Forum, if you´ve got it, then please show us. Anecdotes, though helpful, are not scientific evidence. They may serve as precursors or illustrations but they in themselves are not scientific by an absence of rigor. At the very least, you should be able to provide licensed medical centers that offer pre-surgery IH patients exercise programs that heal–close the IH hernia. So far, no information as such has been forthcoming.
Finally I never said nor implied that patients who have reported negatively about exercise are scientific. However because only surgery can turn the clock back for herniae, it would be prudent to be cautious about the contrary claims you make.
MemberJune 30, 2019 at 3:55 pmquote pinto:
Correct, indirect does not necessarily mean it reaches the scrotum. And yes, scrotal hernias are more difficult to repair.
Are indirect hernias always congenital? I don’t know that for sure, but I am told by Dr. Koch that this is the most common type of hernia in males and it is believed to be congenital in nature. Congenital meaning it’s present at birth. Me and my brother both had the indirect type. That should answer your question about the congenital aspect of it.
MemberJune 30, 2019 at 3:47 pmquote pinto:
That’s interesting… you request “rigorous research data” for claims of hernia symptom improvement or cure of hernia through physical exercise. But you don’t put the same requirement on these anecdotal pre-surgery injuries from doing these exercises. Tell me, what rigorous research data do YOU have on patients who got worse by doing physical exercises prior to surgery? And don’t just give me anecdotal viewpoints now.
I think you have overconfidence in the medical community.
Direct hernia: intestine protrudes directly through the abdominal wall. Weakness is in the abdominal muscles.
Indirect hernia: intestine passes through the deep inguinal ring before it protrudes through the abdominal wall. Weakness is primarily in the inguinal canal and I am told that this type of hernia is the most common and is congenital.
MemberJune 30, 2019 at 3:26 pmquote Jnomesh:
I’m not so sure about the towel analogy, but you certainly know your hernias, that’s for sure.
Yes, indirect hernia is what I had and Dr. Koch told both me and my brother that these are usually present from birth.
Not really. Technically, you have a hernia if it pokes out. That’s what a “hernia” technically is – a protrusion of intestine through the inner layers of the abdominal wall. So if I lay flat on my back and the hernia retracts then I don’t have a hernia now, do I? Yes, you may still have a “hole” in there. But that’s not what a hernia is. It takes a hole and intestine protrusion to make a “hernia”. If hernias were defined simply as “holes” then all men would technically have hernias, as we all have holes where the testicles dropped down into the scrotum. But in healthy males those holes are not large enough for intestine to protrude through.
Why my hernia used to stay in for days, I can’t say. Was the hole becoming smaller? I can’t say, because I don’t know. But I could go on up to 5 days without being able to see or to sense a protruding intestine. Believe me, I don’t need to see it to know when I have an intestine that wants to pop out. You forgot about the sense of touch. I could literally feel the intestine pressing and pushing whenever it had been tacked in for a long time and it wanted to pop out. I have 8 years of experience dealing with this. This sensation of pressure was most severe in the early beginnings when that hole was still very small, so the intestine would have a hard time pushing out through the hole.
MemberJune 30, 2019 at 3:02 pmquote Jnomesh:
That’s a valid point about direct vs. indirect hernia.
Crunches are one of those exercises that create most abdominal pressure. I would advise against them for anyone who has a hernia that is not retractable when laying down, or anyone who recently had a hernia surgery. Crunches are difficult enough even for healthy people who don’t have a hernia. For all beginners and people who had hernia surgery I would recommend the reverse crunch rather.
MemberJune 30, 2019 at 2:49 pmquote pinto:
You have the right to be skeptical. But you have to understand that this gentlemen is challenging all that we believe in and are taught to be true. It’s a tall order for him to come up with empirical evidence for his claims. To begin with, he would need years of scientific training and the instruments required to do for example imaging studies. It’s not something a regular Joe can fit in his backyard, nor have the expertise to operate it. What we need here is for the scientific community to take up his claims and design a study that can shed some light on the matter. Such study will cost money, and no one wants to finance it.
For comparison, his claim is as repelling as the claim that Earth rotates around the Sun. People got hurt just for uttering those words. As Voltaire would put it: it is dangerous to be right in matters where established men are wrong.
I would love to see some scientific study on the matter. But I have yet to source one, and I am a regular visitor to PubMed (for other reasons).quote pinto:
If they are unscientific, what makes their claims valid?quote pinto:
I have a hard time accepting a world view where the truth is only what I am told by an authority. With that said, I am not saying that a hernia can or cannot be healed naturally. We need to design a study that will try to answer that question rather than speculating about it. There are a lot of things that the medical community doesn’t have an answer to. How does the medical community explain the fact that I no longer have a hernia on my left side?quote pinto:
I believe I read somewhere that professional athletes who exercise on a regular basis are more likely to develop a hernias than people who don’t exercise at all. If you already have a hernia, and especially if it’s asymptomatic, I would say that it’s safe to do some easy to moderate exercises without the risk of enlarging the hernia.
In fact, I took up strength training and conditioning about 2 months before my hernia surgery. I saw no worsening of the hernia during this time, but it was not always comfortable to do exercises that involve a lot of lower body motion. Most uncomfortable was running on the treadmill on days when my hernia decided not to come out in the morning. It would literally come out as I was bouncing up and down on the treadmill. It would come out slowly rather than just pop out instantly, but I could feel it and it was no fun at all. Gladly it’s no longer a problem for me. I can even do squats and pull ups and I have yet not teared the repair (a little more than 1 month after surgery). And my repair was done without a mesh, so it is supposedly a weaker repair than the concrete reinforcement bars (plastic mesh) in your groin. I strongly believe that my continued physical exercise has helped me heal after the surgery. Physical exercise can do wonders to the human body, beyond comprehension of modern medicine.quote pinto:
Just because a treatment is offered at a hospital doesn’t mean it’s a good treatment that is backed up by strong scientific evidence. There is more than one hospital in the world claiming to be able to heal any illness or disease simply by offering stem cell therapy. You go figure out if it’s true or false.
MemberJune 30, 2019 at 1:55 pmquote GeorgeHirst:
Spot on! That’s the problem with people in general, not just with people who have a hernia, they much rather talk the talk than walk the walk. Talking is easy, doing the actual work is hard.quote GeorgeHirst:
What you are doing is something very unique. It’s what makes your blog unique and what makes you unique. It is quite possibly the first well documented attempt to heal a hernia naturally. It’s an ongoing experiment, and whatever the outcome may be in the long run you are certainly doing the public a great service, and I thank you for that.
Do I think you will be able to completely heal your hernia? Judging by my own experience with migrating hernia, I would say it’s plausible. And judging by the anecdotal evidence you present on the website, it seems like you are making progress.quote GeorgeHirst:
I feel the same way. I wish more surgeons and medical device/product manufacturers saw things this way. As I wrote in another thread of mine, “there are needs to be filled and things to be improved upon in the operating room that are not necessarily bad or damaging to the patient, and there is money to be made on these products by the manufacturers and by the surgeons who use them. You just need to use common sense, and stop looking at things solely through the dollar glasses. Don’t be greedy, don’t be evil.”
I made this statement because I have learned that Ethicon makes not only surgical meshes but also surgical glues. I had my hernia surgically repaired by Dr. Koch and he used the surgical glue by Ethicon to seal up the wound. The result is quite impressive! The incision has healed up so nicely, it’s almost invisible. I strongly believe that it is small innovations like this that can have most impact and add up to a bigger whole and benefit the patient the most. Instead of just looking through the dollar glasses and thinking that one size can fit all.
I think that the tailored approach is what sets Dr. Koch and others like him apart from other hernia surgeons. And sadly I must say, they are a minority in the medical field. A lot of the medical world is about numbers and industrialization, treating everyone equally like on a conveyor belt, without much consideration for the unique needs and anatomical variance in each patient. I get the sense that people are becoming more and more like robots, both the patients who are treated as if they are the same model and surgeons who lack the human touch with the world.quote GeorgeHirst:
I can confirm that. I have seen the videos.
MemberJune 30, 2019 at 1:01 pmquote drtowfigh:
I agree with this statement. I would just add that in case of a patient on watchful waiting I would make sure that the exercise regime is easy and conservative, working only with the patient’s own body weight.
MemberJune 29, 2019 at 11:33 pm
PeterC, you greatly misread my post. Please, where do I say what the medical community says is “irrefutable truth”? Nowhere do I say nor imply that. Obviously if you go to a doc for your IH and he/she says, “we´re gonna do some blood letting and fix you right up,” you gonna high tail it out of there. That practice went out ages ago. Your very well-being depends on standard practices followed by a whole society; if not, then our way of life as we know it comes to a standstill. It would be foolish of you to disregard standards simply because you might read some pulp fiction accounts of a miracle drug that “cures” all forms of cancer. Hell, in that case forget the standards and roll the dice.
Further, I greatly detest your twisting my post to demean roger555´s account. Who “automatically pointed at a misdiagnosis for roger555“? Hello, PeterC. Did you know that yearly there are scores of medical errors made by dedicated doctors throughout the world? Never, never did I say his case was a misdiagnosis. We are all here to discuss matters and he presented his case for our consideration. I sinned in your book by merely suggesting the possibility of misdiagnosis? Well, if you cannot fathom the positive role of critical thought, then I guess you are left with going to your acupuncturist for all your needs. I caution you though that he/she might not be up to standards.
MemberJune 29, 2019 at 5:53 pm
As much as I totally understand your arguments and position – just because the medical community seems to agree on something or standardise something doesn’t make it an irrefutable truth. I don’t think it’s fair to automatically point at a misdiagnosis for [USER=”2694″]roger555[/USER] because his real-life experience doesn’t agree with your truth or what you choose to believe in.
I have an acupuncturist who was clinically partially paralysed after a terrible car accident that put him in a deep coma and western medicine just told him that’s how it would be from then on for the rest of his life – diagnosis and everything. He went to traditional chinese medicine and acupuncture and healed for the most part which led him to pursue a career in traditional chinese medicine. His story isn’t on the news (aside from like 1 newspaper article a couple years back) or in any paper available for online medical enthusiasts to use/refer to.
I was also seeing an acupuncturist back in Canada who had a hernia 15 years ago and was scheduled for surgery and everything at a regular hospital. The day of they called her to cancel because they had an emergency and she ended up not going. Fast-forward 15 years later it’s not there anymore. She can show me the appointment slip the diagnostic of hernia etc.
There are countless of stories about people who healed stage 4 cancer with a diagnostic of being terminal and went into complete remission without chemo through holistic healing despite being advised unbelievable amounts of surgery and chemotherapy and told they would never heal because that’s what research has shown. The same way some people have diabetes their whole lives despite having access to modern medicine and then all of a sudden don’t with proper care from a holistic healer. But these results or stories don’t serve the greater agenda of making money and therefore you won’t see them put forward unless you just happen to meet a passionate doctor who cares about what they do. I have a personal friend who had Leukemia and was given 6 months to live and that was that. She turned to holistic healing, cannabis oil, healing through food, etc. She lived another 8 years. While she ultimately passed – she went against every diagnostic and doctors were so quick to just put their truth on her and not even give her a chance. She proved them wrong.
It doesn’t just happen outside of western/modern medicine. these 2 cases below are in a modern hospital setting but nevertheless cases that went against what was advised/what was standardised.
http://www.fox10phoenix.com/news/arizona-news/doctor-saves-man-from-amputation-with-modern-medical-technology – I guarantee you this man was told he needed to get his toe amputated no matter what based on what “research shows”. Someone else looked at it differently and healed it. It still required surgery and is documented now obviously but I’m just offering perspective.
This man had a hunting accident just recently and was about to get his leg amputated but met this forward-thinking doctor who managed to regrow 7 cm of bone and avoided him amputation. I guarantee you every doctor before was quick to just tell him “it is what it is and you have to get amputated”. https://montreal.ctvnews.ca/montreal-surgeon-helps-regrow-man-s-leg-after-gun-injury-1.4447455?cache=yes%3FclipId%3D89531%3Fot%3DAjaxLayout%3Fot%3DAjaxLayout%3FclipId%3D104056
All that to say that the human body isn’t one straight-line, one truth. While there may be a “in most cases” consensus – we can’t just discredit and completely discard other accounts – as rare as they may be – of people for who their hernia experience went a different way and potentially healed. Medicine is constantly evolving and often times is late to catch on to what people have been doing to heal outside of research. How many people have healed a condition through dietary change – veganism – etc – and only now do you see hospitals starting to offer vegan options and research plant-based diets as a means of healing.
I know I touched a whole-bunch of subjects but it’s just some food for thought. 🙂
MemberJune 29, 2019 at 1:52 pm
roger555, quite a story. I´m sure you couldn´t be happier. Probably everything was as you say, but let me comment nevertheless. Misdiagnosis can happen. Once, a doc told me I likely had serious kidney disease but later had to retract it because the lab tech´s description of my urine sample was misleading. Misdiagnosis happened at other times too. Medical machines also can err but docs take them at face value. Just within this year, I was misinformed about having high cholestoral and high BP when in fact a different lab and different clinic gave me normal readings. The former doc wanted to give me some serious drug to alter my supposed ill health. I couldn´t accept it because I am extremely fit and questioned the doc about the reliability of her tests. As I said another clinic´s tests showed the opposite, and I continue to have normal readings at different locations.
Your case is interesting because it being asymptomatic must mean it is harder to diagnose. If yours was correct, then it technically disproves what many docs say about IHs (and I emphasize I am not talking about any other type of hernia) being immune from any treatment other than surgery. Could it be possible that your IHs had a certain missing attribute that would put them in, say, a “pre-hernia” category?
While sleeping position would be a reasonable factor to consider, at the same time, reclined positions make many herniae practically asymptomatic at least temporarily. Maybe your sleeping position put stress on the groin which countered the positive reclined effect.
Anyway your case is quite interesting and must be considered for obvious reason. Thank you for sharing.
MemberJune 29, 2019 at 11:53 am
I had three hernias at the same time: double inguinal and another one about two inches below my navel on the right side for about a year. I had just pain, no bulges and they were confirmed by my family doctor and surgeon with a manual cough test and an ultrasound. They went away completely after I changed my sleeping position so my lower abdomen would not have any tension. All three hernias had a 50% reduction in pain the day after I changed my sleeping position.
My two inguinal hernias went away completely by the third day and my other hernia slowly went away in about two months. I have been hernia free for about fifteen years since then. Just find a sleeping position that doesn’t cause any tension on your abdomen and that will help more than doing strengthening exercises in my opinion. Since everybody is different you might not get the same results that I got. Also, I had no bulges but the pain was real. But I think relieving the tension on you abdomen should help everybody with a hernia to some extent.
MemberJune 29, 2019 at 3:56 am
Thank you. I had it backwards: Here´s an interesting quote:
“Despite statements to the contrary in several textbooks, it is not possible to distinguish a direct from an indirect inguinal hernia by clinical examination, unless the hernia extends to the scrotum (when it must be indirect).” Handbook of Clinical Skills.
I assume that an indirect does not automatically mean it reaches the scrotum but when it does, it must complicate surgery.
Another point of my confusion is that I thought two people can have the same kind of hernia but sourced by congenital cause or weakness later developed in life. In other words, one could get an indirect IH apart from congenital reason. But you seem to say indirect is only traceable to congenital cause. Could you confirm what would be most accurate? Many thanks.
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