What is a Hernia?
The word hernia means "something coming through." It is defined as a protrusion of an organ or part (such as the intestine) through connective tissue or through a wall of the cavity (as of the abdomen) in which it is normally enclosed.
Types of Hernias
This illustration does not intend to provide exact locations for all hernias. It only provides examples for possible locations. A number of hernias such as incisional hernia may occur in any area where previous surgery required opening of the skin and the abdominal wall.
Certain rare types of hernias may not be mentioned here. Please consult with your doctor for further information about these and other types of hernias.
A hiatal hernia occurs when a portion of the stomach protrudes up through the diaphragm into the chest. It is most common in patients over 50 years old. Hiatal hernias are often accompanied by gastroesophageal reflux, a burning sensation which results when the stomach contents leak upwards into the esophagus.3
A ventral hernia is a sac or pouch which forms from the inner lining of the abdomen that pushes abdominal content such as bowel through a hole in the abdominal wall.4
Umbilical Hernia - An umbilical hernia is a type of ventral hernia that occurs around the navel, which is common in infants.5
Incisional Hernia - An incisional hernia is a type of ventral hernia that occurs typically at the site of a previous surgical incision or scar.6
Hernias that occur in the groin (the most common form of hernia) are known as inguinal hernias.
There are two types: indirect and direct. Indirect inguinal hernias are congenital defects through which abdominal contents protrude into the scrotum in males. Direct inguinal hernias usually occur due to weakness in the abdominal wall muscles. Typically, there is no actual defect but the abdominal contents protrude through weak muscles.7
A femoral hernia occurs in the upper part of the thigh near the groin. There is a natural space called the femoral canal where intestine can protrude. Femoral hernias tend to occur more often in women than in men.8
- Beadles CA, Meagher AD, Charles AG. Trends in Emergent Hernia Repair in the United States. JAMA Surg.2015;150(3):194-200.
- Chan Y, Durbin-Johnson B, Kurzrock EA. Pediatric inguinal and scrotal surgery – Practice patterns in in U.S. academic centers.J Pediatr Surg. 2016 Nov;51(11):1786-1790.
- Kahrilas PJ, Kim HC, Pandolfino JC. Approaches to the diagnosis and grading of hiatal hernia.Best Practice & Research Clinical Gastroenterology. Volume 22, Issue 4, August 2008, pp 601–616.
- Lomanto D, Shabbir IA, Cheah WK. Laparoscopic versus open ventral hernia mesh repair: a prospective study. Surgical Endoscopy and Other Interventional Techniques. July 2006, Volume 20, Issue 7, pp 1030–1035.
- Pediatric Umbilical Hernia Repair. American College of Surgeons Division of Education. Reviewed April 2013.
- Mudge M, Hughes LE. Incisional hernia: A 10 year prospective study of incidence and attitudes. British Journal of Surgery. January 1985, Volume 72, Issue 1.
- Inguinal hernia repair: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia. (n.d.). Retrieved November 09, 2016, from https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/007406.htm
- Kovachev, L.S. (2014) The Femoral Hernia: Some Necessary Additions. International Journal of Clinical Medicine, 5, 752-765.
- Pluta RM, Burke AE, Golub RM. Abdominal Hernia. JAMA. 2011;305(20):2130.
- Jones D. Anatomy and pathophysiology of hernias. In: Fischer J, ed. Hernia: Master of techniques in surgery. Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2013:1-6.
- Incarcerated and Strangulated Hernias in Children. A Statistical Study of High-Risk Factors Arch Surg. 1970;101(2):136-139.
- Fitzgibbons Jr RB, Ramanan B, Arya S. Long-term results of a randomized controlled trial of a non-operative strategy (watchful waiting) for men with minimally symptomatic inguinal hernias. Annals of Surgery. Volume 258(3), September 2013, pp 508–515.
- de Sá Ribeiro, F.A., de Araujo Fernandes, B. and de Araujo Simões Corrêa, J.P. (2014) Inguinal Hernia Repair with Local Anesthesia in the Outpatient—10 Year Experience. International Journal of Clinical Medicine, 5, 644-649.
- Nawaz T, Ayub MW, Murad F, Ali Q, Khan A, Anwar I. Comparison of laparoscopic total extra peritoneal (TEP) techniques versus transabdominal preperitoneal (TAPP) technique for inguinal hernia repair 2005, Issue 1. Journal of Rawalpindi Medical College (JRMC); 2015;19(3):220-222.
- Tran H. Safety and efficacy of single incision laparoscopic surgery for total extraperitoneal inguinal hernia repair. Journal of the Society of Laparoendoscopic Surgeons. 2011;15(1), pp 47-52.
- Arcerito M, Changchien E, Bernal O,Konkoly-Thege A, Moon J. Robotic inguinal hernia repair: technique and early experience. Am Surg. 2016 Oct;82(10), pp 1014-1017.
Hernia Causes & Risk Factors
Hernia Symptoms & Diagnosis
Patient-Friendly Hernia Information