Understanding Hernia: Symptoms, Types, Causes, and When to Consult a Hernia Specialist



When an organ pressurises the muscle or tissue holding it in place, it can result in a hernia, typically in the abdomen or groin. It could appear as an abnormal bulge that changes appearance depending on the activity or the position. It might or might not result in symptoms of hernia like discomfort or pain. However, most hernias require surgery to be repaired eventually.

What are the Symptoms of Hernia?

An expert must recognise a hernia's signs to cure it quickly. Depending on the type, symptoms of hernia might vary, but the following are some typical ones:

Pain or Discomfort:

Hernias frequently result in a dull, throbbing ache or discomfort in the affected area. You can feel mild to severe pain and may worsen when you move around or lift heavy objects.

Visible Bulge or Swelling:

A lump or protrusion might be seen where the hernia is located. The lump may become more noticeable when coughing, straining, or standing up; when resting down or applying gentle pressure, it may go away.

Digestive Issues:

Digestion-related problems can result from some hernia types, including hiatal hernias and inguinal hernias. A few examples are heartburn, acid reflux, trouble swallowing, belching, or feeling full immediately after eating.

Nausea and Vomiting:

Hernias can obstruct or strangulate the organ or tissue they block in more severe cases, resulting in nausea, vomiting, and the inability to pass faeces or gas.

Types of Hernia

Hernias can occur in different body areas, and the specific type of hernia depends on its location. Below given are some common types of hernia:

Inguinal Hernia

Hernia is most commonly seen in the groin region. Though it can afflict women as well, it affects men more frequently. In an inguinal hernia, a part of the intestine or abdominal tissue pushes through a weak area in the abdominal wall in the inguinal canal.

Men's and women's spermatic cords and round ligaments are located in the inguinal canal, a tunnel in the lower abdomen. You can further divide inguinal hernias into:

  1. Direct Inguinal Hernia: Abdominal wall weakness in the inguinal canal allows abdominal tissues to herniate into the inguinal canal. Usually, it appears as a protrusion in the groin region.
  2. Indirect Inguinal Hernia: Congenital in nature, an indirect inguinal hernia is more frequent than a direct one. It happens when abdominal tissues extend into the scrotum or labia through the inguinal canal. A little swelling in the groin area could be a symptom of this type of hernia.

Femoral Hernia

Women are more likely to have femoral hernias than males, particularly after giving birth. The femoral canal, which is situated directly below the inguinal canal, is where the intestine or abdominal tissue pushes through. Usually, this kind of hernia manifests as a lump or protrusion in the upper thigh or groin area.

Umbilical Hernia

Infants are most frequently affected by umbilical hernias, but adults can also get them. They appear when abdominal tissue or the intestines push through a weak place near the navel or belly button.

Umbilical hernias in infants frequently go away on their own as the abdominal muscles develop. However, surgery may be necessary in some circumstances if the hernia persists or enlarges.

Incisional Hernia

People with abdominal surgery in the past are susceptible to developing incisional hernias. They appear when weaker scar tissue or abdominal tissues poke through the surgical site. Obesity, infections, inadequate wound healing, and excessive abdominal muscular tension raise the chance of developing an incisional hernia.

Hiatal Hernia

Another typical hernia that develops over your lifetime is a hiatal hernia. When your diaphragm's opening, through which your oesophagus travels, widens, the top of your stomach pushes up through the opening and into your chest.

Epigastric Hernia

The epigastric region, or the space between the breastbone and the navel, is where epigastric hernias happen. They appear as a lump or protrusion brought on by fatty tissue pushing through a weak point in the abdominal muscles.

Although these hernias are frequently tiny and may not produce noticeable symptoms, surgical correction may be advised if they do.

Causes of Hernia

Hernias develop due to various factors. Some common causes of hernia include:

Weak Abdominal Muscles:

Organs or tissues may protrude through the abdominal wall more quickly if the muscles supporting it are weak, leading to a hernia.


The body's muscles and tissues typically weaken as we age, raising the possibility of hernia formation.

Heavy Lifting or Straining:

Hernias can develop due to the abdominal muscles being overworked due to hard lifting, chronic coughing, or constipation.


A hernia may develop due to the increased pressure on the abdominal muscles during pregnancy.


It increases the strain on the abdominal muscles, which raises the risk of hernias.

Why Consult a Hernia Doctor/Surgeon?

Consult a hernia specialist or surgeon immediately if you have a hernia or experience symptoms like pain, a visible bulge, digestive problems, or nausea. A hernia surgeon will correctly identify your disease and provide a tailored treatment strategy based on your hernia's kind, size, and severity.

A hernia specialist will offer the appropriate advice and treatment along your journey, whether it entails watchful waiting, lifestyle changes, medication, or surgical intervention. Always remember that prompt medical treatment from a hernia surgeon is necessary to treat symptoms of hernia, avoid complications, and improve your general health.


If untreated, hernias can result in discomfort, suffering, and possibly even life-threatening problems. To receive early medical assistance, it is crucial to be aware of the symptoms, comprehend the types of hernia, and know the typical reasons. Consulting a hernia surgeon is essential for an accurate diagnosis, individualised treatment regimens, and access to cutting-edge surgical techniques if necessary.

Remember that hernias can significantly improve life quality and minimise repercussions with early discovery and proper treatment. Discuss with a hernia specialist if you feel you may have a hernia or are exhibiting any associated symptoms.