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What Is A Hernia, And Why Does It Appear?

What Is A Hernia, And Why Does It Appear?

What Is a Hernia?

Nowadays, it is important to understand what is a hernia and why it appears because now it is more common. A Hernia can happen when fat, tissue, or part of an organ pushes through a weak spot or hole in the abdominal muscle. Depending on the type of hernia you have and how severe it is, the condition can range from slightly bothersome to life-threatening, according to  Hopkins Medicine.

In adults, hernia are very common, in the groin or abdomen. When a patient has a hernia, they may notice or feel a bulge in the area of pain. Also, they can experience pain during certain activities such as: Lifting or standing up for a very long period of time.


A hernia can appear for different reasons, These causes can be the following: 

  • If you have a chronic cough
  • Lift heavy weights or  Heavy items
  • Being born prematurely or having low birth weight
  • Chronic constipation
  • After pregnancy.

These are usually the most common causes for which a hernia develops, but there can be many more, and it also depends on the type of hernia. 

Different types of hernia.
Types of hernia


There are two types of hernias, internal and external. The most common type of hernias are external, which means that the tissue is pushing through the abdominal wall toward the outside of the body. This often creates a bulge that you can feel or see, and an internal hernia refers to a hernia that happens inside the abdominal cavity. Internal hernia most commonly involve the intestinal bowel loops and cannot be visualized externally.

The most common types of hernias are the followings:

Inguinal hernia: 

An inguinal hernia occurs when the intestines or fat from the abdomen bulge through the lower abdominal wall into the inguinal, or groin, area.

Symptoms of an inguinal hernia:

  • A bulge on one or both sides of the groin that disappears when lying down. 
  • Pain in the groin, especially when lifting, coughing or exercising.
  • A feeling of weakness, heaviness, or burning in the groin.
  • A swollen scrotum.

Femoral hernia

Femoral hernias sometimes appear as a painful lump in the inner upper part of the thigh or groin. The lump can often be pushed back in or disappears when you lie down. Coughing or straining may make the lump appear. 

Symptoms of an femoral hernia: 

  • Groin discomfort that may worsen when standing, lifting, or straining.
  • Abdominal pain.
  • Nauseas.
  • Vomiting.

Umbilical hernia:

An umbilical hernia occurs when a tissue bulges out through an umbilical hernia occurs when a tissue bulges out through an opening in the muscles of the abdomen near the navel or belly button (umbilicus). About 10% of abdominal hernias are umbilical hernias.

Symptoms of an umbilical hernia: 

A bulge in the belly button or surrounding region (often most visible when coughing or straining)

Pain at the hernia site


Sharp abdominal pain and vomiting can mean the hernia is strangulated.

Incisional hernia:

An incisional hernia is very common in infants and young children, particularly it may happen in babies born prematurely. An umbilical hernia appears as a painless lump in or near the navel, better known as the belly button. 

Symptoms of a incisional hernia:

  • Constipation, “narrow” or “thin” stool.
  • Lump or protrusion in the abdomen at or near the site of a previous incision; the patient may be asked to stand and cough, which tends to make the hernia more pronounced.
  • Nausea, vomiting, fever or rapid heart rate.
  • Pain in the abdomen, especially around the protrusion.

Epigastric hernia:

An epigastric hernia can occur when the tissues in the upper abdominal wall don’t close completely during development. Research continues to look for the specific causes of this type of hernia. Not as much is known about epigastric hernias, possibly because they aren’t reported many times due to a lack of symptoms.

Symptoms of an epigastric hernia:

  • A bulge below the breastbone or upper abdomen.
  • Pain, which can range from a dull ache to severe pain, especially when coughing, sneezing or lifting heavy objects.
  • Bloating or constipation.

Hiatal hernia:

A hiatal hernia is when your stomach bulges up into your chest through an opening in your diaphragm, the muscle that separates the two areas. The opening is called the hiatus, so this condition is also called a hiatus hernia.

Symptoms of a hiatal hernia:

  • Chest pain
  • Acid reflux-Backflow of food or acid  from your stomach into your mouth
  • Bloating
  • Burping
  • Trouble swallowing
  • Bad taste in your mouth-An upset stomach and vomiting
  • Shortness of breath
The perfect treatment for a hernia
Treatment for hernia


It is important to determine when you should consult your trusted doctor to prevent any type of these hernias becoming a danger to the patient. You should visit the doctor when you have these symptoms, (also everything depends on the type of hernia you have).

  • When you have a lump in the navel that becomes very painful.
  • When constipation  and vomiting occur along with the pain in the area of the hernia.
  • Feeling a lot of sensitivity in the area.
Trust the hernia specialist
Hernia specialist

It is extremely important to visit a trusted Doctor, like Dr. Gabriel Arévalo, who has several years of experience in hernias and surgery. He is currently chief of the surgery department at Houston Methodist, Willowbrook.

Dr. Gabriel Arévalo is a fellowship-certified Robotic and Laparo-endoscopic surgeon specializing in complex hernia repairs and advanced gastrointestinal surgery. He currently holds a national leadership role as a member of the HERNIA TASK FORCE of the Society of American Gastrointestinal Endoscopic Surgeons.

Also, Dr. Arévalo focuses on gastroesophageal reflux disease, gallbladder disease, and diaphragm dysfunction. He also does endoscopic treatments for achalasia and Gastroparesis.

In addition to operating, he has distinguished himself by his valuable contributions in research for improvements in hernia repair, gastroesophageal reflux disease, robotic surgery, and endoscopy. He has authored several publications and invited commentaries to some of the most influential gastrointestinal journals in the world. 

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