Hernias occur when an organ or fatty tissue protrudes through a weak spot in the surrounding muscle or connective tissue. The most common types of hernias include inguinal, femoral, umbilical, and hiatal. Most hernias occur in the abdomen. There are usually no symptoms. Some people have discomfort or pain. The discomfort may be worse when standing, straining, or lifting heavy objects. In time, the most common complaint is a bump that is sore and growing. When a hernia gets bigger, tissues may get trapped in the outpouching of the abdominal wall and lose its blood supply which may result in tissue death. This is called strangulation. Symptoms include nausea and vomiting and not being able to pass gas or have bowel movements. When this occurs, surgery is needed right away
are the most common type that occurs in the groin. In an inguinal hernia, the intestine or bladder pushes through the abdominal wall. Some inguinal hernias have no apparent cause. Other may occur from increased pressure within the abdomen, a pre-existing weak spot, straining during bowel movements, strenuous activity, pregnancy, or chronic coughing. Most inguinal hernias enlarge over time if not repaired surgically. In men, large hernias can extend into the scrotum, causing pain and swelling.
A femoral hernia
occurs when the intestine enters into the canal with the femoral artery into the upper thigh or groin. Unlike inguinal hernias, femoral hernias occur more frequently in women due to the wider shape of the female pelvis. These hernias can appear with no known cause but can also occur due to straining during bowel movements, or carrying heavy loads.
An umbilical hernia
occurs when part of the small intestine passes through the abdominal wall, near the navel. Although umbilical hernias are most common in newborns, adults can also be affected. The cause in adults is due to increase pressure in the abdomen from obesity, multiple pregnancies, previous abdominal surgery, or long-term peritoneal dialysis.
A hiatal hernia
occurs when the upper part of the stomach pushes through the hiatus, an opening in the diaphragm. The cause is often unknown but may occur due to poor blood circulation and muscle weakness in the surrounding area. Small hiatal hernias may not cause any symptoms but once large enough it can allow acid back up into the esophagus, causing acid reflux ad heartburn that is worse when bending over or lying down. Other symptoms include chest pain and swallowing difficulty.