- A hernia is a bulge formed by a part of an organ (usually the intestine or stomach) when it pushes against a weak spot in the muscle wall that encloses it. It occurs when straining exerts pressure on the weak region such as when lifting heavy objects, having a bowel movement, having a chronic cough or being obese.
- It can happen in the groin (inguinal hernia).
- Or when fatty tissue or a part of your bowel pokes through into your groin at the top of your inner thigh. It pushes through a weak spot in the surrounding muscle wall (abdominal wall) into an area called the femoral canal (femoral hernia).
Straining can contribute to the weakening of the muscle walls. Factors that can lead to overstraining include:
- Chronic constipation.
- Heavy lifting.
- Being overweight.
- Difficult urination due to an enlarged prostate.
- Chronic coughing.
- No symptoms (asymptomatic) discovered accidentally by investigating something else.
- A small bulge in the groin or inner upper thigh with some discomfort upon exercise or weight challenge.
- Obstructive symptoms (emergency) when sudden onset severe groin or abdominal pain with a painful lump in the area with or without nausea or vomiting. This needs emergency admission.
Tests and Diagnosis
Those hernias are either diagnosed clinically or using ultrasound of the groins or a CT scan.
- Small and asymptomatic hernias may require no treatment.
- Symptomatic hernias mainly require treatment with some exceptions. The treatment is usually a laparoscopic repair, but open repair is still an option in some situations.