Hernias are a common medical condition; in fact, millions of people experience a hernia each year and too often, they put off getting an assessment. When left untreated, a hernia can lead to more serious, even life-threatening conditions. For this reason, Bassett Healthcare Network is offering a free hernia screening Thursday, April 25 beginning at 5 p.m. at FoxCare Center in Oneonta. The session will include the opportunity to ask questions of general surgeon Jesse Hollis, DO.
What is a hernia?
A hernia occurs most often within the abdominal cavity when an internal organ or other body part pushes through the wall of the muscle or tissue that normally contains it. Hernias are more common in men than women, but both can experience a hernia. The symptoms of a hernia may include:
A bulge or swelling under the skin that may disappear when you lie down
There may be no pain or pain only while lifting
Tugging or dull aching sensation in the abdomen
Increase in size of swelling/bulge over time
Will a hernia get better on its own?
Hernias typically do not get better on their own. While many people put off getting a possible hernia evaluated, it can be risky to do so. Hernias left untreated can become strangulated, which cuts off the blood supply to surrounding tissue and can, in rare cases, be fatal.
How is a hernia treated?
Not all people who experience a hernia will need treatment. If the hernia isn’t causing any pain or other worrisome symptoms, your doctor may opt to wait and monitor the hernia over time. If corrective surgery is recommended, your doctor will discuss the options, which include an open procedure, laparoscopic or robotic surgery. Laparoscopic and robotic surgery are minimally invasive procedures that involve a small incision and typically have a shorter recovery time. Open hernia repair involves a larger incision and it usually takes longer to return to normal activity.
Who is at risk of getting a hernia?
As we age, our risk of developing a hernia increases and hernias occur more frequently in men than women. There are also many other contributing factors including lifting heavy objects, being overweight or obese, smoking, and chronic constipation. Family history can also increase a person’s risk.
Where to get help?
Bassett is offering a free hernia screening 5 p.m. Thu. April 25 at FoxCare Center, Oneonta.  Dr. Jesse Hollis, general surgeon, will also discuss who is at risk, symptoms and treatment options.  Register@ freeherniascreening.org

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