ExitCare ImageA hernia happens when an organ inside your body pushes out through a weak spot in your belly (abdominal) wall. Most hernias get worse over time. They can often be pushed back into place (reduced). Surgery may be needed to repair hernias that cannot be pushed into place.


  • Keep doing normal activities.

  • Avoid lifting more than 10 pounds (4.5 kilograms).

  • Cough gently and avoid straining. Over time, these things will:

  • Increase your hernia size.

  • Irritate your hernia.

  • Break down hernia repairs.

  • Stop smoking.

  • Do not wear anything tight over your hernia. Do not keep the hernia in with an outside bandage.

  • Eat food that is high in fiber (fruit, vegetables, whole grains).

  • Drink enough fluids to keep your pee (urine) clear or pale yellow.

  • Take medicines to make your poop soft (stool softeners) if you cannot poop (constipated).


  • You have a fever.

  • You have belly pain that gets worse.

  • You feel sick to your stomach (nauseous) and throw up (vomit).

  • Your skin starts to bulge out.

  • Your hernia turns a different color, feels hard, or is tender.

  • You have increased pain or puffiness (swelling) around the hernia.

  • You poop more or less often.

  • Your poop does not look the way normally does.

  • You have watery poop (diarrhea).

  • You cannot push the hernia back in place by applying gentle pressure while lying down.


  • Understand these instructions.

  • Will watch your condition.

  • Will get help right away if you are not doing well or get worse.