Health A-Z


Clinical Definition

A hernia is a bulge or protrusion of one organ or tissue through a wall or partition that normally contains it or holds it in. Hernias can develop in any number of locations in the human body, but often involve a portion of the gastrointestinal tract bulging through the abdominal/pelvic wall.

In Our Own Words

Hernias are areas of weakness where an organ or tissue bulges through the structure that normally contains or walls off two separate areas. The most common hernias include inguinal hernias, periumbilical hernias, and hiatal hernias. Hernias that develop over time are often due to a combination of muscle weakness and straining from heavy lifting. Alternatively, some hernias are congenital, with defects in the muscular diaphragm or abdominal wall discovered at birth or early in life. Depending on the nature and severity of the hernias involved, surgical repair of the opening may be required.

Symptoms and Side Effects

  • A protrusion in the groin or abdomen
  • Dull aching sensation
  • Pain while lifting
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