An inguinal hernia occurs when a portion of intestine or fat bulges through a weak area in the lower stomach wall. Inguinal hernias can occur at either of two passages through the lower abdominal wall, one on each side of the groin. These passages are called inguinal canals. Inguinal hernias can also occur through two deeper passages in the groin called the femoral canals. Hernias through these passages are also known as femoral hernias.
Inguinal Hernias are relatively common, and some symptoms of an inguinal hernia include:
- A small bulge in one or both sides of the groin that may increase in size and disappear when lying down; in males, it can present as a swollen or enlarged scrotum
- Discomfort or sharp pain-especially when straining, lifting, or exercising-that improves when resting
- A feeling of weakness or pressure in the groin
- A burning, gurgling, or aching feeling at the bulge
Umbilical hernias are those in which tissues in the body bulge through an area of weakness in the belly button area (umbilicus). Unlike most hernias, which develop in adolescence or adulthood, 20 percent of babies are born with umbilical hernias. Umbilical hernias occur most often in newborns, and 90 percent will naturally close by the time the child reaches 5 years of age.
After birth, the umbilical cord is no longer necessary, and the opening in the abdominal muscles closes as the baby matures. Sometimes, these muscles do not meet completely, leaving a small hole or gap. A part of the intestine can then move into and even penetrate the opening between abdominal muscles and cause a hernia.
An incisional hernia can occur after a person has abdominal surgery, which usually involves an incision down the middle of the stomach. If the surgical wound doesn’t heal completely, that person can be more vulnerable to developing a hernia.
Some doctors may use the terms “ventral hernia” and “incisional hernia” interchangeably. A ventral hernia refers to any hernia type that occurs along the midline of the stomach. However, not all ventral hernias are incisional hernias as some may be caused by other trauma or congenital problems.
A hiatal hernia is a condition that occurs when a person’s stomach bulges through a weak point in the diaphragm, a muscle that separates the lungs from the abdominal organs. The most common cause of a hiatal hernia is an increase in pressure in the abdominal cavity. A hiatal hernia can develop in people of all ages and both sexes, although it frequently occurs in people age 50 and older. Hiatal hernia occurs more often in overweight people and smokers.
If you have a hiatal hernia, you’re more likely to have problems with acid reflux and heartburn from gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).
A femoral hernia occurs more commonly amongst women than men, and it happens when tissue pushes through a weak point in the groin or inner thigh. The hernia may feel like a small- to medium-sized lump in the groin, and tends to be concerning as it’s near the femoral artery and veins.
This is the reason why most femoral hernias are treated with surgery.
An epigastric hernia is one that occurs in the epigastric region of the abdomen, which is located just above the belly button and below the ribcage.
If you suffer from an epigastric hernia, you may face some pain or tenderness around the said region. You may also be able to feel it when pressure is exerted on the abdominal wall, on occasions such as when you cough, laugh, or bend down.