Medical Forum
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Posted : September 30, 2009
Hi Dr Firth, I have a small umbilical hernia that needs treatment at some point in the not too distant furture. How will that effect my diving. My local GP can't answere that as he is not familiar with diving. I am 56yo and soon scheduled to start a rescue diver course.

Posted : September 30, 2009
Hello and thanks for the query.

Hernias are really only a problem if there is a significant risk of gas become trapped in them, and then causing distension or rupture of the gut on ascent. In most cases hernias are reducible (ie. can be pushed back inside the defect from which they protrude) so this risk is minimal. If this is the case then you can dive away without concern.

If on the other hand the hernia is irreducible or stuck, then the risk of gas trapping increases and it's probably sensible to get the defect repaired before diving.

Hope that answers your question.

Kind regards, Dr O
Answer provided by Dr Oliver Firth
Dr Ollie Firth
The views expressed by Dr Firth & Dr Jules are their own and the publishers accept no liability for the advice and views expressed by Dr Firth , Dr Jules, or other users, which are provided as a general service to divers. Users are warned that secondary posts are the views of other users and may not be medically correct.
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