A hernia is a weakened area of the abdomen where organs push into other areas. There are several different types of hernias. A femoral hernia is a bulge in the upper thigh, just below the groin. A hiatal hernia occurs in the upper part of the stomach. An incisional hernia can occur through a scar if you have had abdominal surgery in the past. An umbilical hernia appears as a bulge around the belly button. An inguinal hernia is a bulge in the groin.
In most cases, there is no obvious cause for a hernia to develop. Heredity, birth defects (sometimes not known at birth), straining or heavy lifting, or an underlying medical condition may bring about a hernia.
Most hernias begin with mild pain and discomfort that may get worse while sitting, standing or lifting. Patients then may feel a lump that is sore and getting bigger. If a hernia gets too large and stuck in the abdominal wall opening, it may start losing blood supply (a process called strangulation). If this happens, immediate medical attention is needed.
Hernias need surgery for repair, but with the advances in laparoscopic surgery, these procedures are usually easy on the patient. In laparoscopic surgery, small incisions allow a tiny camera and thin, long handled instruments to be inserted into the abdomen to patch or close the hernia.Previous Page Last Review Date: January 5, 2018