Have you recently undergone hernia surgery? Are you looking forward to wearing a hernia belt? But not sure how to wear and for what time you should wear them? Here are some tips that can clear your thoughts on wearing a hernia belt.
What is a hernia?
If you have undergone surgery for a hernia, you may probably know about it! A hernia is a bulge formed when organs or tissues in the abdomen, groin, or upper thigh regions protrude outwards. It is a hole in the peritoneum, which is the muscular wall of the abdomen, that has the function to keep the organs in their place.
The causes of the hernia depend upon its type and location, namely inguinal hernia, femoral hernia, umbilical hernia, incisional hernia, hiatal hernia, and epigastric hernia. Abdominal surgery and older age increase the risk of hernia, especially in men than in women.
There are various ways of treating hernia, such as:
- Lifestyle changes (a proper diet, quitting smoking, muscle strengthening exercises, avoiding spicy food and not getting into strenuous exercise like heavyweight lifting) can help reduce the pain and discomfort associated with a hernia.
- Medications can help overcome symptoms associated with hiatal hernia like acidity and acid reflux, constipation, diarrhoea, and pain etc.
- Surgery is considered as the last option to cure hernia and is generally performed as open or laparoscopic. A hernia surgeon may usually recommend you to undergo a surgery, especially if it has grown in size or the symptoms associated have gotten worse.
Hernias have the possibility of recurring. An untreated hernia can grow in size, forming a large bulge and causing pain and discomfort. Doctors often suggest wearing a hernia belt to treat the hernia, or to secure it even after a surgery.
What is a hernia belt?
A hernia belt is an abdominal garment which is used to provide support to the abdominal region. It helps keep the protruded organs in their original place by being wrapped around the abdomen. A hernia belt reduces the pain and swelling associated with the hernia and helps heal faster after surgery. Often for people suffering from a hernia, sudden movements can increase the pain (including coughing and laughing) or even lead to bruising. The hernia belt ensures that the person wearing it does not have to suffer the discomfort of those.
There are various types and sizes of hernia belts. Trusses, binders and corsets are some such types. The doctor suggests specific types based on the area of the hernia. If the abdomen requires support, then binders and corsets are suggested, while if the hernia is in the groin then trusses are suggested.
Why use a hernia belt?
There are various benefits of using a hernia belt, such as:
- A hernia belt puts pressure on the site of the hernia, reducing chances of recurrence.
- They reduce pain while ensuring you can continue doing your daily activities.
- Hernia belts and exercises combined with medicines can often cure hernia.
- It is an inexpensive treatment option.
- Even if surgery is required, the period between the diagnosis and surgery can be made comfortable by wearing a belt.
How long to wear a hernia belt?
A hernia belt can be worn throughout the day while doing daily activities so that the hernia does not bulge through the abdomen wall. If it is not worn then the hernia can increase in size, leading to the need for surgery.
A hernia belt does not need to be worn while sleeping. The hernia does not protrude much while sleeping if sleeping in the right pose since abdominal pressure is low during this time. Doctors may recommend wearing a hernia belt at night if they think it necessary.
However, one must not wear a hernia belt indefinitely. It may lead to serious complications like incarceration i.e. when the hernia is trapped outside the abdomen opening. Wearing the hernia belt incorrectly can also increase risks like pinching or strangulation of the hernia.
Most importantly, it should be remembered that a hernia belt is not an alternative to hernia surgery.