Men without pain can put off hernia repair surgery

Men with hernias but little or no pain can safely go without surgery unless things really start to hurt, a study found.

"Not every hernia needs to be fixed," said Dr. Olga Jonasson of the University of Illinois at Chicago, co-author of the study in Wednesday's Journal of the American Medical Association.

Surgery to fix hernias is one of the most common procedures. The study offers guidance to &to=http://english.pravda.ru/fun/2001/08/10/12267.html' target=_blank>doctors on whether it is OK to leave a pain-free hernia untreated.

In an accompanying editorial, Dr. David Flum of the University of Washington's surgery department said hernia surgery for patients without pain may soon disappear, just as preventive tonsillectomies have done.

"We've really moved far away from preventive surgery, and this is another example of that," said Flum, who was not involved in the study.