Inguinal hernia (inguinal hernia)

Abdomen | Emergency Medicine | Inguinal hernia (inguinal hernia) (Disease)


Inguinal hernia occurs when the groin (the fold between the thigh and abdomen), abdominal tissue or part of the intestine protrudes through a weakness in the abdominal wall causing a swelling at this level or in the scrotum.

There are two types of hernias: (1) Indirect inguinal hernia occurs through the normal opening of the inguinal canal should close before birth. This opening allows the tissues to protruzioneze through this channel; (2) Direct inguinal hernia occurs due to muscle weakness in life or aging.

Indirect inguinal hernias are more common in boys because after testis descent through the inguinal canal, abdominal opening of this channel can not close completely. In women also indirect inguinal hernias are more common than direct.

Symptoms of inguinal hernia are the presence of swelling in the groin or scrotum in men or labia majora (covering the vagina) in women. This swelling can occur gradually, in a few weeks or months or may occur suddenly after heavy lifting, coughing, bending, straining or laughing.

Causes and Risk factors

Inguinal hernias are caused by persistence of communication between the abdomen and genitals (called the inguinal canal) which normally would have to close before birth; weakening of the abdominal muscles through aging and wear in life; conditions that increase pressure in the abdominal cavity (eg cough frequency or obesity); sports - athletes often develop a sports hernia caused manifested by a chronic groin pain with or without signs of herniation.

Diagnosis and Treatment

X-rays may be done to diagnose intestinal obstruction. An ultrasound or CT scan can define the hernia.

If no significant symptoms are being experienced the hernia may be watched. Hernias that are getting larger or causing pain need surgical repair. Hernias will not heal themselves. Incarcerated or strangulated hernias need immediate surgical repair to prevent serious injury or death. ...