Belts and trusses for inguinal hernia
Early versions of the hernia truss were daunting contraptions made from steel and canvas. For instance the 19th century Eggleston's Truss from Chicago was described:
"Eggleston's Truss has a pad different from all others. It is cup-shaped, with a self-adjusting ball in the centre, and adapts itself to all positions of the body, while the ball in the cup presses back the intestines just as a person does with the finger. With light pressure the hernia is held securely day and night, and a radical cure is certain. It is easy, durable and cheap."
Cluthe's Advice to the Ruptured, written before surgical hernia repair became popular, describes dozens of hernia cases which were cured even by this relatively primitive hernia truss.
Many doctors and surgeons simply don't bother to prescribe a hernia truss. Even some of today's hernia trusses use metal springs to apply pressure to the hernia, via a pad which can be quite hard, and usually bulges into the hernia. The inward bulging of the truss can scar the edges of the hernia and prevent them from coming together. This makes it difficult for the hernia to heal itself, and it can also become enlarged. On the other hand your hernia will also enlarge if you do not wear some kind of belt or truss to keep it in.
Trusses are complicated things
A truss must be initially fitted by an experienced fitter. Careful measurements must be taken before the truss fitting, with the patient undressed and standing up. Then the hernia must be reduced by getting the patient to lie down and if necessary gently applying pressure with a finger. Then the truss is put on and adjustments are made to the truss to obtain the best fit. Even so, all these measures may not be enough. According to one surgeon: 'It's nearly impossible to get a truss to fit in such a way as to keep the hernia in at all times. So don't bother".
Our recommended hernia truss alternative
Clearly the problem would be solved if you could find a hernia truss or support that fits well, is comfortable, unobtrusive, keeps the hernia in at all times, and does not have springs or pads that bulge inwards. We believe that, after years of development and testing on people with hernias, this product is now available, and we invite you to visit our sister website www.thesupportcompany-uk.com to read about the Flat Pad Support, which is an excellent hernia truss alternative.
Trusses on the British National Health Service
If you reside in the UK it is possible to get a Flat Pad Support prescribed on the NHS. You need to ask your GP for a referral to your local hospital Orthotics Department, which can order a Flat Pad Support for you.
You will need to give your GP and the hospital a leaflet about the Flat Pad Support, and an order form. If you would like to download these items in pdf format to print on your computer, just click on the links. Alternatively if you complete this form we will send them to you by post.