What is a hernia? A hernia is an opening or weakness in the muscular structure of the wall of the abdomen.

This defect causes a bulging of the abdominal wall. This bulging is usually more noticeable when the abdominal muscles are tightened, thereby increasing the pressure in the abdomen. Where are hernias located? The most common location for hernias is the groin (or inguinal) area. There are several reasons for this tendency. First, there is a natural anatomical weakness in the groin region which results from incomplete muscle coverage. Second, the upright position of human posture results in a greater force pushing toward the bottom of the abdomen, thereby increasing the stress on these weaker tissues. The combination of these factors over time breaks down the support tissues, enlarging any preexisting hole, or leads to a tear resulting in a new hole. Causes of Hernia Usually, there is no obvious cause of a hernia, although they are sometimes associated with heavy lifting. Hernias can be seen in infants and children. This can happen when the lining around the abdominal organs does not close properly before birth. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, 5 out of 100 children have inguinal hernias (more boys than girls). Some may not have symptoms until adulthood. If you have any of the following, you are more likely to develop a hernia:
• • • • • • •

Family history of hernias Cystic fibrosis Undescended testicles Extra weight Chronic cough Chronic constipation due to the straining to have a bowel movement Enlarged prostate due to straining with urination

What are the symptoms of a hernia? Symptoms of a hernia include pain or discomfort and a localized swelling somewhere on the surface of the abdomenor in the groin area.

Hernia At A Glance Symptoms of a hernia include pain or discomfort and a localized swelling somewhere on the surface of the abdomen or in the groin area. • There are many different types of hernias. • Serious complications from a hernia result from the trapping of tissues in the hernia (incarceration), which can result in the damage of death of the tissue.

Hernia repair and the treatment of hernia complications require surgery.

NORMAL ANATOMY:

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful