Are hernias life-threatening?

Hernias can be life-threatening if they become incarcerated or strangulated.

An incarcerated hernia is one that becomes trapped outside the hernia wall. A strangulated hernia is an incarcerated hernia that become pinched or twisted and cut off from the blood supply. Gangrene (tissue death) can develop within hours.Hernias that cause small bowel obstruction can also lead to fatal medical conditions. Fortunately, most hernias affect the body in milder ways. Early detection and diagnosis are important ways to prevent a hernia from becoming life-threatening.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.