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( Originally Published 1940 )[an error occurred while processing this directive]
HERNIA, or "rupture," is a protrusion of the inner lining of the abdominal cavity through a weakness of the body wall. Often a loop of intestine follows the lining membrane through the weakened area. Various types of trusses and supports are advertised for the "cure" of hernia. Such claims are false, since most hernia can be cured only by operation or, in certain selected cases, by a course of injections. In infants and elderly people, operation or the injection treatment may not be feasible, so that a well-fitted support or truss must be relied upon to give a fair degree of comfort, or even complete relief. But the truss must be well-fitted if it is to be effective. If an appliance is used which does not exert the proper pressure at the proper point, there is a danger that the hernia will come down and result in "strangulation." This is a very serious condition, which usually requires immediate operation.
A hernia may resemble a hydrocele (collection of fluid in the scrotum), varicocele or even a tumor. Consequently competent medical diagnosis is a prerequisite to proper treatment. A truss obtained by mail order from a surgical supply or "rupture-cure" company obviously will not relieve a hydrocele or a tumor. It will certainly not relieve a hernia unless it is fitted according to individual requirements.