Holidays/ Vacations and Business Travel with a Known Hernia

There are some really important considerations:

Hernias can be quite asymptomatic (ie unnoticeable) in terms of pain or discomfort, but that does not mean sunshadethey will stay that way. Overall, hernias tend only to get worse, sometimes slowly, sometimes very quickly. They can suddenly worsen for no apparent reason, perhaps no more than a cough or sneeze is enough. Another cause can be straining in the toilet – perhaps because of a bout of ‘holiday tummy’.

In the event of a worsening of a hernia condition, it could well be extremely important to obtain very prompt and high quality medical or surgical attention.

We cover strangulation at  some length on this site, but that is not all that causes sudden problems. Incarceration of the hernia, in plain terms ‘trapping’ it in the abdominal wall defect that is the hernia, can be intensely uncomfortable or painful and could get worse.

Given the potential for extremely unpleasant problems – or even dangers of worse – it is
very sensible to consider the nature of any holiday or other trip away from home when one knows he or she has a hernia.
Clearly, apart from a ruined holiday, the considerations must include:

  • The level of activity that is going to be involved. 
    • Carrying luggage, even lifting on the scales at check-in or off the carousel at destination
    • The nature of the holiday. Does it, for example, include sport, skiing, swimming, even sailing or other boating? Camping, walking, climbing, dancing perhaps?
  • The Journey and Means of Transport
    • Flying on most airlines today can be very cramped and uncomfortable. How long is that flight and what of the rest of the journey, door-to-door?
    • Whilst en-route, medical/surgical help is effectively unavailable in almost all circumstances.
  • Location of Destination
    • Are you going to a developed country with modern standards of healthcare?
    • How close will you be to the nearest hospital and will you be able to use it?
  • Financial
    • Will you have the means in an acceptable form locally to pay for a hospital admission if necessary?
    • Most, if not all, travel insurance will NOT cover anything arising from a condition known at the time of departure from home – and they will check in the event of a claim.


Our advice is, once you know you have a hernia problem, have it seen to before going away. Depending upon the way it is repaired and the experience of the surgeon you choose, your recovery could be much quicker than you expect.

When you are caught in an unplanned situation, your choices are likely to be severely limited. It really is a very poor decision to risk any hernia problems while away from home.

Next: FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

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