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As one of the Western United States’ leading experts on abdominal wall hernias, Dr. Shirin Towfigh of the Beverly Hills Hernia Center regularly fields questions from patients and colleagues about the best ways to prevent, diagnose, and treat hernias. Recently, says Dr. Towfigh, the attention of many patients has been turned to the area of hernia prevention and what each individual can do to decrease their personal risk factors for hernias. Dr. Towfigh explains that this is the perfect time of year to address that question, as exercise is often the best answer to the question of hernia prevention. “While year-long exercise is the best defense against a hernia, June weather offers an extra incentive to anyone who has yet to adopt a routine.” According to Dr. Towfigh, there are two main ways that exercise can reduce a patient’s risk of developing a hernia:
* It Can Strengthen Abdominal Muscles – A hernia occurs when internal organs protrude through a weakness in the abdominal wall. Dr. Towfigh notes that a weakness can be more easily exploited and stretched when the muscles are weak. By adopting an exercise regimen that works to strengthen the abdominal muscles, prospective patients can help stop naturally occurring holes from turning into hernias.
* It Can Aid in Weight Loss – Dr. Towfigh notes that being overweight and risk of a hernia are very closely correlated. This makes sense, as excess fat can cause increased internal abdominal pressure, which can press upon and stretch the abdominal wall, resulting in a hernia. Yet, it should be noted that extremely rapid weight loss can increase the risk of a hernia, so adopting a steady, consistent exercise and diet regimen is best.
While exercise is perhaps the best, most proven way that patients can reduce the risk of developing harmful hernia symptoms, Dr. Towfigh notes that there are a variety of other behavioral modifications that current or prospective hernia patients may consider, especially when a surgery has already been scheduled. Dr. Towfigh states that, while it is understandable that many patients may need to remain on blood thinners or aspirin for other medical conditions, these can increase the risk of bleeding after hernia repair. Also, smokers should note that, because nicotine can worsen blood flow, it is recommended that patients stop smoking prior to surgery in order to aid in the healing process.
If patients want to learn more about the various risk factors for preventing hernias or surgical complications after a hernia repair, they can call Beverly Hills Hernia Center at 310-358-5020 or visit them online at http://www.beverlyhillsherniacenter.com today.