Your body wall is a strong, muscular bag holding your internal organs in place. There are some natural weak spots, however, especially in the groin and around the belly button. Sometimes people who've had abdominal surgery will notice a bulge at the scar. These are called hernias. A hernia is an area where small intestines or other abdominal tissue pushes through the weak area of the body wall and makes a lump under the skin.
Hernias are named for where they're located. The groin is one of the most common locations, and may occur in both men (inguinal hernias) and women (femoral hernias). Regardless of where they're located, surgical repair involves reinforcing the area of weakness and moving the tissues and bowel back into the abdomen. Surgical repair is usually very successful.
Most hernias are "reducible". Such hernias will drop back into the abdomen when you're lying flat or if they're gently pushed back with the fingers. Hernias may remain unchanged for long periods of time, or may worsen quickly - every hernia, just like every patient, is different. Your physician will also explain that bowel can become trapped in the opening, stopping the blood flow and causing severe pain.
Some hernias are "irreducible" or "entrapped". Such hernias are potentially life-threatening, requiring immediate surgery.
The physicians at Virginia Hernia Center will give you information about your individual condition, and work with you to decide the best approach for you.
This web site is for informational purposes only and is not intended to furnish medical advice to anyone.
Any diagnosis, treatment or care of a patient should be discussed with a physician.