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What are Hernia Belts?

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  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 30 August 2014
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    Conjecture Corporation
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A hernia belt is one of several devices used to provide a degree of comfort and support to patients suffering with a hernia. In general, hernia belts are soft and relatively absorbent, hinder the ability of hernias to protrude, and make it possible to engage in a number of everyday activities. Along with customized versions, there are also mass produced hernia belts available at most drugstores.

While there are some variations on the construction of the belt, just about every design does have a few features in common. The material is usually lightweight and includes a padded elastic waistband that is configured to not roll or move out of position. While some models utilize buckles or large metal snaps to secure the garment in place, newer designs incorporate a simple hook and loop configuration that is easy to secure. Just about any type of hernia belt is machine washable, making it easy to care for the garment.

Hernia belts are one of several options available to people suffering with various types of hernias. Along with the belt, some patients opt for a hernia brace. Hernia trusses, which are essentially hernia belts with a few added features, are often helpful when the hernia is located in a lower area of the abdomen. A relatively new device on the market known as hernia briefs are purported to offer the same relief and support of hernia belts.

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As with all types of hernia support garments, hernia belts are designed to apply enough pressure to keep a hernia in check before and after surgery. Prior to any surgical procedure, the belt can effectively hold the hernia in place, thus preventing any more damage occurring. After surgery, some patients are counseled to continue wearing hernia belts during the healing process. During recovery, the belts help to minimize any stress on the damaged tissue, improving the ability of the body to heal from the treatment.

While there are many proponents of hernia belts, some patients prefer to go with one of the other hernia garment options. One reason is that the material used for most belt designs is highly absorbent. The close proximity of the collected moisture to the skin can cause rashes that are very uncomfortable. When coupled with the fact that many designs for the hernia belt are somewhat bulky and do not hide well under clothing, hernia sufferers who are concerned about skin irritations or general appearance may opt for another option, such as the hernia briefs.

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Discuss this Article

blackDagger
Post 2

I was quite blissfully unaware of such a thing as umbilical hernias until my close friend had a baby girl who developed a big, lumplike thing close to her bellybutton. The first time I saw it, I was ready to cart her off the emergency room!

Her mom just laughed at me and said that it wasn’t a big deal, and that these kinds of hernias were actually pretty common in African American children. Well, not being African American, I didn’t have a clue about that.

She told me, though, that it wasn’t painful for the little stinker and that there was a really good chance she would grow right out of it. She also said that some parents use umbilical hernia belts to help hold them in place so that they wouldn't get bumped and stuff.

I’ve got to say that it was hard at first to get used to that little lady’s pooch – I was always afraid I would hurt her somehow. But now she’s in the fifth grade and it did indeed go away on its on.

dimpley
Post 1

Is there any reason that a person should not wear an abdominal hernia belt? For instance, I know a lady who has perpetual hernias due to past health problems. However, she has been advised not to wear a hernia belt because she also had severe acid reflux.

It seems like a good idea to me, but it also sounds as though it could be more than a little uncomfortable and constraining. It would be nice to know if there are actually other legitimate health problems and concerns to keep people from wearing them in some situations.

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