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Key Signs and Symptoms of a Hernia


A hernia can occur in any part of the body. However, the most common areas of the body inflicted are the inner groin (inguinal hernia), outer groin (femoral hernia) near the navel (umbilical hernia), upper abdomen (hiatal hernia), or at the site of a recent surgical scar (incisional hernia).

Hernias are lumps caused when a weakening of the muscle walls occur and fatty tissue squeezes through connective tissue. They most typically form when an internal organ (usually the bowel or bladder) or part of the intestine pushes out through the surrounding muscle. Ranging from mild to extremely painful when exposed, hernias usually go away when you press on them or lie down, but they can be aggravated by coughing or sneezing. If they don’t dissipate on their own, you may require surgery to prevent them from worsening.

Here are 15 common signs and symptoms of a hernia…

1. Visible Lump

The first sign of a hernia is often a noticeable swelling under the skin, which will likely turn into a visible lump or bulge. This protrusion forms as a sac in the organs (most commonly the intestines) but sometimes also in the wall of the abdomen, groin, or navel. Untreated hernias become severe and very painful as the muscle widens and splits, and as more and more intestinal organ or abdominal tissue is forced through the opening, forming an even larger sac.

This notable protrusion, or bulging sac, is one of the primary characteristics of a hernia, and typically develops due to weakened tissue that’s present at birth or organ/tissue that wears down later in life. You may notice the bulge before you feel pain, but in many cases patients feel pain before the protrusion is noticeable to the naked eye. It’s very important that you go to your doctor as soon as you notice a lump as it may signify another health issue, such as type of abnormal growth or a cancerous tumor.

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