What is it?

Hernia describes the condition where an organ pushes and protrudes through an opening in a muscle or tissue. The most common hernias include
- inguinal hernia – protrusion of intestine between the groin and the thigh.
- Umbilical hernia – protrusion through the navel.
- Ventral hernia – protrusion through the abdomen wall.
- Incisional hernia - protrusion through former surgery scar.
Risk factors for hernia include smoking, obesity, pregnancy, different diseases, and previous abdominal surgeries

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Additional names

This group contains additional names:
- Inguinal hernia
- Ventral hernia
- Bilateral Inguinal Hernias
- Incisional Hernia
- Femoral Hernia with Obstruction
- Diaphragmatic Hernia with Obstruction
- Ventral Hernia with Gangrene
- Femoral Hernia
- Diaphragmatic Hernia with Gangrene
- Gangrenous hiatal hernia
- Gangrenous paraesophageal hernia
- Obstructive Incisional Hernia
- Ventral Hernia with Obstruction
- Inguinal Hernia with Obstruction
- Gangrene of Incisional Hernia
- Umbilical Hernia with Obstruction
- Femoral Hernia with Gangrene
- Inguinal Hernia with Gangrene
- Umbilical Hernia with Gangrene
- Umbilical Hernia
- Exomphalos
- Ventral Hernia

Signs & symptoms

The most common symptom of hernia is the protrusion, or a bulge, in the abdomen or groin. The bulge may be pronounced when coughing or bending, and may disappear while lying down. Additional symptoms, such as pain or discomfort in the hernia area, may be present. Many patients with hernia may not notice it, with a diagnosis made during a routine physical exam.
Untreated hernia can lead to complications such as entrapment of intestine in the muscle wall (called incarceration). Incarceration can present with severe pain, nausea, or constipation. If incarceration is not treated, the intestine's entrapped portion can lose its blood supply, become infected, and even die (called strangulation). Strangulation may present with fever, sudden worsening in pain, and color change of the bulge (into purple or red). A strangulated hernia can be life-threatening, and patients should admit immediately to a hospital and receive medical care.


Diagnosis is made by questioning and investigating the medical history and physical examination to provide additional information and exclude other diseases. Further tests include abdominal ultrasound, CT, or MRI scans to view the intestine and the abdomen.


Hernias can be repaired in surgery – either open or laparoscopic. Laparoscopic surgery is when the surgeon uses smaller incisions and inserts a tiny camera into the abdomen, causing less damage to surrounding tissues. Not all hernia can be repaired in laparoscopic surgery. Despite surgery repair, the recurrence rate of hernia can reach up to 10%. Life changes such as losing weight and strengthening abdomen muscles can help recover from surgery and prevent hernia recurrence.

☝️ This is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult with your physician before making any medical decision.

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