Millions of Americans suffer from hernias each year.
Today’s technology makes solutions easier than they
In a hernia—one of the most common
medical conditions—tissue or
part of an organ pushes through the
muscle or membrane that is supposed
to hold it in place.
Hernias are classified by where
they occur. For example:
- Inguinal or abdominal hernias jut through the abdominal wall.
- Umbilical hernias push through the belly button.
- Hiatal hernias push through the upper part of the stomach into the thorax (the trunk above the abdomen).
- Sports hernias occur in the groin.
Hernia symptoms vary. The symptoms
of an inguinal or abdominal hernia,
the most common type, include:
- A bulge beneath the abdomen’s skin
- Pain when lifting or coughing
- Pain after you’ve been standing or sitting for a long time
- Pain after straining during a bowel movement
Hernia pain ranges from dull and
constant to a sharp pain that becomes
more intense when the abdomen is
Anyone who experiences severe
pain or redness around an abdominal
hernia, rapid heartbeat, or fever should
see a doctor immediately. These could
be symptoms of a strangulated hernia,
a potentially life-threatening condition.
Some hernias are present at birth, but
most are caused by pressure on the
affected area due to lifting, coughing,
Diagnosis and Treatment
Doctors diagnose hernias by taking
a medical history and performing a
thorough physical examination.
Most abdominal hernias are
treated with surgery on an outpatient
basis. The surgeon repairs the area
where the muscle wall has been
strained and separated by using a
synthetic mesh and possibly stitches.
Postsurgery recovery time depends
on the size of the hernia, whether the
surgery was done laparoscopically or
through a larger incision, and the age
and general health of the patient.
Hernia surgeries are safe and
complications are rare. If you have
any of the symptoms of this common
condition, see a health care provider.
A hernia will not heal by itself, but
small abdominal hernias that aren’t
causing symptoms don’t need immediate
For more information, visit Hernia Symptoms
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