1.3.3 Complications

Hernias can lead to a number of physical and aesthetic defects. Strangulation of the hernial sac in the hernial opening gives rise to a dangerous situation. This is called incarceration and results in local blood congestion and leakage of fluid into the tissues (oedema). Tissue swelling leads to virtual strangulation and impaired blood flow of the organ structure enclosed within the hernial sac. If, because of its size, it is no longer possible to push back the hernial sac into the body, there is a risk of death (necrosis) of its contents, for example strangulated intestinal loops, if surgery is not promptly carried out. This situation causes the patient severe pain and constitutes an acute emergency warranting immediate hospitalisation or emergency treatment.
Strangulation of a hernia poses a threat of tissue death and calls for immediate surgery.