Men who delay surgical repair of a hernia until the hernia becomes uncomfortable fare as well those who undergo immediate surgery, according to a study at five North American medical centers.
In the study, published in the Jan. 18 issue of JAMA, a journal of the American Medical Association, 720 men with inguinal hernia (a small part of the large or small intestine protruding into the groin) were randomly assigned to either "watchful waiting" or standard hernia repair surgery and followed up for two to 4.5 years.
In an earlier study, the researchers had compared non-invasive laparoscopic hernia operations with open procedures. "But there are a lot of men walking around with hernias who say, If its not bothering me, I wont bother it," said Dr. Olga Jonasson, professor of surgery at the University of Illinois at Chicago, who initiated the study. "We wanted to know if it was safe to delay surgery altogether."
Jeanne Galatzer-Levy | EurekAlert!
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