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A hernia is generally a sac formed by the lining of the abdominal cavity (peritoneum). There are different types of hernia, each requiring a specific treatment or management. The most common type of hernia develops in abdomen due to weak abdominal walls.

  • Femoral Hernia - This type of hernia is more common in women than men and appears as a bulge in the upper thigh.
  • Hiatal Hernia - It appears in the upper part of the stomach.
  • Inguinal Hernia - This type of hernia appears as a bulge in the groin and more common in men than women.
  • Umbilical Hernia - It appears as a bulge around the belly button and occurs when the muscle around the navel doesn't close completely.
  • Incisional Hernia – It causes an incompletely healed wound.

Signs and Symptoms

Most often there are no symptoms. The most common symptom is abdominal discomfort and pain. The intensity of discomfort increases when you stand, strain, or lift heavy objects. The best way to detect hernia is to visit a health care professional who can easily diagnose it through a physical inspection.

Causes of Hernia

Generally, there is no apparent cause of a hernia. Sometimes hernias occur due to heavy lifting, straining while using the toilet, or any activity that increases the pressure inside the abdomen. Hernias may be present at birth, but the bulge may not be identifiable until later in life.

Any activity or medical problem that increases pressure on the abdominal wall tissue and muscles may lead to a hernia, including:

  • Chronic constipation
  • Chronic cough
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Extra weight
  • Heavy lifting
  • Poor nutrition
  • Smoking
  • Overexertion
  • Fluid in the abdomen
  • Undescended testicles
  • Following abdominal surgery (Ventral/ Incisional Hernia)


According to experts, Surgery is the only treatment available that can ensure permanent relief from hernia. One important thing to remember is that hernia surgery may be more risky for patients with severe medical problems.

Surgical option is considered only in following conditions:

  • Hernias are getting larger
  • Painful
  • Cannot be treated without surgery
  • May involve a trapped piece of bowel

The good news is that treatment outcome is generally excellent till now. It is rare for a hernia patient to come back (1 - 3%).