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Hernia

Description

A hernia happens when part of an internal organ or tissue bulges through a weak area of muscle. Most hernias are in the abdomen.

There are several types of hernias, including

  • Inguinal, in the groin. This is the the most common type.
  • Umbilical, around the belly button
  • Incisional, through a scar
  • Hiatal, a small opening in the diaphragm that allows the upper part of the stomach to move up into the chest.
  • Congenital diaphragmatic, a birth defect that needs surgery

Hernias are common. They can affect men, women, and children. A combination of muscle weakness and straining, such as with heavy lifting, might contribute. Some people are born with weak abdominal muscles and may be more likely to get a hernia.

Treatment is usually surgery to repair the opening in the muscle wall. Untreated hernias can cause pain and health problems.

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Technical Brief Archived April 6, 2011