Is there anything that would rule out surgery for me?
There are some coexisting conditions that increase abdominal pressure and should be taken care of before hernia surgery. Chronic or acute pulmonary conditions increase abdominal pressure by forcefully pushing the diaphragm down. These should be optimally controlled first. Symptoms of increased straining on bowel movement or change in bowel habits should be investigated to rule out an obstructing bowel tumor. In addition to complete history and physical examination, this involves checking the stool for traces of blood and either endoscopy (flexible sigmoidoscopy or colonoscopy) or a barium enema X-ray study. Obstructive urinary symptoms such as straining to urinate, decreased stream, or frequent urination may require evaluation of the prostate gland by a urologist. If bowel or urinary problems exist, they are taken care of before the hernia surgery. If they are not, postoperative straining may weaken or disrupt the repair during the healing period or cause recurrence later.
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