The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases is a research organization for the most costly, chronic, and consequential diseases. Their research areas include endocrine diseases, metabolic diseases, digestive diseases (hernia), nutrition, and obesity. Their mission is to support medical research and research training to improve people’s health and quality of life in the above listed conditions and areas.
Among their many diseases and conditions, there is a section of their website devoted to inguinal hernias. Inguinal hernias are when organs bulge through weak areas in the lower abdominal wall. In addition to defining inguinal hernias, the NIDDK also gives answers to many other inguinal hernia related questions including: How common are inguinal hernias? What are the symptoms of an inguinal hernia? What causes inguinal hernias? What can I expect after surgery to treat an inguinal hernia?
Clinical Trials for Inguinal Hernias
Visitors to the site can find ways to participate in improving inguinal hernia care through clinical trials sponsored and supported by the NIDDK. The search feature redirects to www.clinicaltrials.gov. Here, users can search through federally-funded, industry, university, and individual studies. NIDDK also includes an advisory from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) on determining if clinical studies are a good fit for those who are interested.
The NIDDK also mentions ways to safely delay surgery, if that is advisable. The term “watchful waiting” is when men with inguinal hernias delay surgery because they have little or no symptoms. However, surgery isn’t usually completely avoidable. Around 70% of those who do choose to delay surgery will develop new or worsening symptoms and need surgery within 5 years.