Taxis:a. Should be performed when strangulation is suspected
Incarceration occurs when hernia contents fail to reduce; however, a minimally symptomatic, chronically incarcerated hernia may also be treated nonoperatively. Taxis should be attempted for incarcerated hernias without sequelae of strangulation, and the option of surgical repair should be discussed prior to the maneuver. To perform taxis, analgesics and light sedatives are administered, and the patient is placed in the Trendelenburg position. The hernia sac is elongated with both hands, and the contents are compressed in a milking fashion to ease their reduction into the abdomen.
The indication for emergent inguinal hernia repair is impending compromise of intestinal contents. As such, strangulation of hernia contents is a surgical emergency. Clinical signs that indicate strangulation include fever, leukocytosis, and hemodynamic instability. The hernia bulge is usually warm and tender, and the overlying skin may be erythematous or discolored. Symptoms of bowel obstruction in patients with sliding or incarcerated inguinal hernias may also indicate strangulation. Taxis should not be performed when strangulation is suspected, as reduction of potentially gangrenous tissue into the abdomen may result in an intra-abdominal catastrophe. Preoperatively, the patient should receive fluid resuscitation, nasogastric decompression, and prophylactic intravenous antibiotics.