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While most hernias can be easily treated, the more complicated incarcerated hernia may cause serious complications. The most common symptoms are pain at the site of the hernia, as well as an increase in fatigue and weakness. Patients may also develop a bowel obstruction, gangrene, or even septic shock. Recognizing the signs of this condition early can help to prevent serious complications from occurring.
One of the most common signs of an incarcerated hernia is pain at the site of the hernia, particularly when that pain increases in intensity over time. In addition, the hernia will often feature a bulge that is hard to the touch and lacks the fleshy feel of the surrounding tissue.
Patients who suffer from this condition may also experience an increase in fatigue and weakness. As these symptoms are associated with a number of illnesses, they usually are not the only thing considered when a medical professional makes a diagnosis. It is important for patients who have experienced an increase in these symptoms, however, to evaluate their current health status for any other changes.
An incarcerated hernia can often lead to a bowel obstruction. This happens most often when part of the intestinal tissue becomes trapped through a hernia opening. Patients who experience this complication typically have nausea and vomiting, an increase in body temperature, and may become irritable. In addition, bowel movements may become increasingly difficult or may be extremely painful.
In some cases, an incarcerated hernia can lead to gangrene. Gangrene occurs when blood flow to body tissue becomes blocked, and it starts to decay, causing serious problems. The patient may develop a blue or black tinge to the skin, as well as numbness in the affected area. Gangrene is often very painful, and it needs to be treated promptly or it can be fatal.
In the most severe cases, septic shock may occur. This is relatively rare, however, and usually occurs only when the condition is ignored and medical help is avoided. Those who have a high body temperature, experience dizziness and confusion, or have a high heart rate should seek medical help as soon as possible for the diagnosis and treatment.
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