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What is a Hernia Belt?

A hernia belt is designed to help relieve abdomen hernia discomfort.
Most drug stores carry hernia belts.
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  • Written By: Mary McMahon
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 03 August 2014
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A hernia belt is a support garment which applies consistent pressure to an abdominal hernia, significantly reducing the pain associated with herniated tissue and reducing the risk of developing a hernia-related medical complication. These garments are not designed to treat hernias: the only way to cure a hernia is to undergo surgery. However, they can increase comfort for patients who are waiting for surgery.

Abdominal hernias occur when the tough membrane around the abdomen weakens, allowing an internal organ to push through. Classically, abdominal hernias involve a loop of the intestines which forces its way through the abdominal wall. This condition is extremely painful in many cases, and it can also be very dangerous, as the herniated tissue is at risk of strangulation, meaning that the supply of blood will be cut off, causing the tissue to die. The treatment for a hernia involves surgery to push the herniated tissue back and repair the site of the herniation.

Hernia belts are designed to push the herniated tissue back into the abdomen, and to keep it there. If a patient develops a hernia, he or she may be told to wear a hernia belt while waiting for a surgery appointment. The belt will increase patient comfort, allowing the patient to engage in normal activities, and it will greatly reduce the possibility of strangulation. Some patients may also wear a belt after surgery to reduce the chance of recurrence and give the site an opportunity to heal.

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Wearing a hernia belt will not cause a hernia to resolve, but it can be a stopgap while waiting for surgery. In the instance of minor surgeries, a surgery appointment may not be readily available, in which case the support provided by the garment will make a big difference in quality of life for the patient. While wearing the support garment, the patient may need to attend doctors' appointments periodically so that the doctor can check on the status of the hernia.

If an abdominal hernia becomes strangulated, it needs immediate surgery. Signs of strangulation include an elevation in temperature, nausea, vomiting, constipation, and extreme pain at the hernia site. Prompt medical attention should be obtained if these symptoms manifest.

Hernia belts are available at many drug stores, and also through some doctors' offices. A doctor may recommend a specific brand or type, based on experience and the patient's particular case. Many come with removable padding to vary the pressure, along with straps which can be used to adjust the tension of the belt for comfort.

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Discuss this Article

ysmina
Post 7

@simrin-- What kind of hernia belt do you use?

I've noticed that there are ones that simply wrap around the waist. Then, there are ones that also have straps that go around the shoulder to keep the belt in place. Which is better?

SteamLouis
Post 6
There are also belts for hernia that support lower back hernias, also called lumbar herniated discs.

I have a herniated disc in my lower back and I wear a hernia belt when I have back pain or when I have to carry something heavy.

Just like the abdominal hernia belts, it supports the herniated disc to prevent it from getting worse during activity. When I wear the belt, I also become more conscious of my activities and without realizing, I'm more careful. So the hernia belt definitely helps, it also keeps that area warm which seems to help with the pain.

anon120677
Post 4

I have a sudden swelling on my left side. Could that be a hernia? The swelling is about the size of a baseball.

pharmchick78
Post 3

@googlefanz -- Your doctor should have recommended what kind of belt to get, but if he didn't, a pharmacist can suggest a good hernia support belt.

They have a lot of discreet and subtle hernia belts out there though, especially those soft form hernia belts, so your dad doesn't have to worry about anybody knowing that he's wearing one.

googlefanz
Post 2

How exactly do I buy an inguinal hernia belt? My dad has a hernia, and he can't get in for surgery until next month, so the doctor said to get him a hernia belt.

How do I know which one to choose?

LittleMan
Post 1

When my son was little he had a big umbilical hernia, so the doctor told us to get him an umbilical hernia belt.

It works just like an abdominal hernia belt, except the focus of the pressure is placed over the belly button.

I don't know if it was responsible for fixing his hernia, but it did go away after he started wearing it, so I guess it didn't hurt.

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