Small hernias can be treated simply by watching them carefully and living normally, according to MedicineNet. However, there is no good nonsurgical hernia treatment for larger or more painful hernias.
Sometimes bindings, corsets or trusses are used to help support the hernia and keep it in place, according to MedicineNet. However, this is usually considered a temporary solution because of the risk of sores, circulation problems and patient discomfort. It may be used for longer periods in patients who are unable to undergo surgery, such as elderly people or those with other illnesses.
Hiatal hernias, which occur when the stomach pushes up through the opening in the chest cavity that the esophagus normally passes through, may need additional supportive treatment, suggests WebMD. It often causes heartburn or other gastrointestinal distress. These symptoms should be treated to prevent discomfort and damage from acid reflux.
Although a wait-and-see approach to hernia treatment is good for some patients, sometimes surgery is necessary to prevent serious complications, as reported by Mayo Clinic. Many hernias can be repaired with laparoscopic surgery, which can be a fairly minor procedure with a short recovery time. Herniorrhaphy, which is a surgery that requires the doctor to make a larger incision and push the hernia back into place, has a longer recovery time but a good prognosis.