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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

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.

Hiatal Hernia

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

Ventral Hernia

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

Inguinal Hernia

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

Femoral Hernia

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



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