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FAQ Frequently asked questions
What is a hernia?
A hernia is a condition that occurs when an internal organ or fatty tissue pushes through a natural opening or a weakness, usually in the abdominal wall. This may create a bulge that can be felt from the outside.
What causes a hernia?
Hernias can occur if there is a natural opening or weakness in the abdominal wall. When there is an increase in pressure within the abdomen, from straining, lifting heavy items or coughing, it may cause internal organs or fatty tissues to bulge out through the opening …
What are the symptoms of a hernia?
The symptoms of a hernia may include discomfort or pain usually with straining or physical activity, a bulge that may be felt and/or seen, and a heaviness or tugging sensation in the groin. Occasionally, there may be no symptoms and your doctor may notice …
How is a hernia diagnosed?
In most cases, hernias can be diagnosed with a physical exam. Your doctor may check for a bulge in your abdomen or groin that gets bigger when you cough, strain or stand. In some cases, hernias may need to be diagnosed using imaging techniques such as an …
What is the treatment for a hernia?
Most hernias are treated using surgery. The two main types of surgery used to repair hernias are open and laparoscopic hernia repair. Both are performed in hospital under anesthesia. Both types strengthen the opening or weakening that caused the hernia …
Is a hernia serious?
A hernia can be very serious if it is not treated. Without treatment, a hernia can grow larger and cause more problems. The structures within the hernia may get stuck (known as an incarcerated hernia), which predisposes the blood supply to these structures getting …
Can a hernia be prevented?
Maintaining a healthy weight, avoiding smoking, avoiding heavy lifting and eating a diet high in fiber all lower the chance of getting a hernia.
How common are hernias?
Hernias are a common condition. Surgery to repair a hernia is one of the most common operations.
About this article
Author: Dr Joanne Van der Velden PhD, BSc (Hons)
First answered: 22 Sep 2014
Last reviewed: 19 May 2018
Rating: 4.2 out of 5
Votes: 1233 (Click smiley face below left to rate)