A hernia is a condition that occurs when an organ or tissue
protrudes through an opening or weak spot in the surrounding muscles or
It most commonly affects the abdominal wall but can also
occur in other parts of the body, such as the groin, upper thigh, or chest.
Hernias are relatively common, with more than one million hernia surgeries in
the United States yearly. They can affect people of all ages, from infants to
the elderly, and can be caused by a variety of factors, including congenital
defects, strenuous physical activity, obesity, and chronic coughing or
Hernias can be either reducible or irreducible. A reducible
hernia can be pushed back into place, while an irreducible hernia cannot be
pushed back in. An irreducible hernia is also known as an incarcerated hernia,
and if left untreated, it can lead to strangulation, a condition in which the
blood supply to the herniated tissue is cut off, leading to tissue death.
Several types of hernias exist, including inguinal, femoral,
umbilical, incisional, and fatal.
• Inguinal hernias, which occur in the groin area, are the
most common type, accounting for approximately 75% of all hernias.
• Femoral hernias are less common and occur in the upper
• Umbilical hernias occur in the belly button area.
• Incisional hernias occur at the site of a previous
• Hiatal hernias occur when part of the stomach protrudes
through the diaphragm into the chest cavity.
• Symptoms of a hernia can vary, and diagnosis typically
involves a physical exam and imaging tests.
• Treatment depends on the type and severity of the hernia,
and surgical repair may be necessary in some cases.
If you suspect you may have a hernia, it is important to
speak with your healthcare provider to determine the best course of treatment
for your individual needs