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Health A-Z

Medical Content Created by the Faculty of the
Harvard Medical School

Expected Duration

An inguinal hernia will not heal on its own. It is likely to become larger and cause increased discomfort until it is repaired. Hernias that are not repaired can cause bowel obstruction or strangulation, which is when part of the intestine dies because its blood supply is cut off.

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From Health A-Z, Harvard Health Publications. Copyright 2007 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College. All rights reserved. Written permission is required to reproduce, in any manner, in whole or in part, the material contained herein. To make a reprint request, contact Harvard Health Publications. Used with permission of StayWell.

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