Hernias are among the oldest reported ailments known to mankind. Hernias are "lumps" or protrusions of the abdominal wall and are due to a weakness or a "tear" in the tissue or muscles lining the abdominal wall. They are also sometimes called "ruptures" by the non-medical population.
These bulges can evolve over a short or long period of time and occasionally occur suddenly, often associated with varying amounts of pain.
These hernias can be new or "recurrent" after previous surgery.
Symptoms of a groin hernia:
- Swelling, lump or protrusion- may be at site of a prior hernia repair.
- Sudden or gradual pain in the abdomen, groin , leg or back.
- Vague discomfort in the above areas.
There are several different kinds of hernias:
- Inguinal hernia (direct, indirect, pantaloon or double)
- Femoral hernia
Other abdominal wall hernias:
- Epigastric hernias
- Ventral hernias
- Incisional hernias
Hernias within the abdomen:
- Hiatus hernias
- Internal hernias
Any of these hernias can cause severe and chronic pain and disability. They can occasionally cause acute illness and even death from incarceration, strangulation or intestinal obstruction. Once detected, abdominal wall hernias should generally be corrected and require surgery to avoid these potential complications.
As a rule, abdominal wall hernias can be repaired by either performing surgical repair from the inside of the abdomen (laparoscopic) or outside (open) and most often using minimally invasive technique.