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Find Out the Symptoms of Hernia and Its Type According to Its Location

Written by Shienna Santelices · Updated Aug 06, 2021

Find Out the Symptoms of Hernia and Its Type According to Its Location

A hernia is a bulge in the skin due to a tear of muscles or tissue. When the person has a muscle tear on a particular area, the internal organ behind that is what protrudes and creates a bulge in the skin. The size of the bulge varies and may occur on the different body parts. The symptoms of a hernia include a lump in the skin that may not be visible depending on its size and location. It may also occur to people who have a history of surgery in a particular area.


Symptoms of a Hernia

There are different types of hernia. Some may not show any symptoms at all.

The general symptoms of a hernia include the following:

  • bulge or lump in the skin
  • swelling and pain in the particular area
  • feeling of pain whenever lifting something heavy
  • a feeling of something is blocking with the bowel movement
  • the bulge is increasing its size, eventually
  • discomfort in the area, especially when coughing or laughing
  • it pains when you press on it
  • when it is severe, may experience constipation and pain that travels throughout the body


Causes and Risk Factors of a Hernia

People who commonly experience signs and symptoms of a hernia have done many times of heavy lifting, obese, pregnant, smokers, and people with a chronic cough, constipation, sneeze, and diarrhea. Using the same muscle heavily over time can cause a tear and a hernia occurrence in that area.

Meanwhile, people who underwent abdominal surgery have a higher risk of having a hernia as the tissues in that area may not have the same strength as usual. Then, pregnant women are also at risk, especially umbilical hernia. However, this type is a common thing to both of the sexualities.


Types of Hernia

The different types of hernia according to their area include the following:

  • Hiatus Hernia. It is a hiatus hernia when it occurs due to the stomach part pushing up through the diaphragm. It can cause an acid leak from the stomach into the esophagus.
  • Inguinal Hernia. It often occurs in men and is found in the groin area.
  • Umbilical Hernia. It often occurs in the belly button of babies.
  • Incisional Hernia. The symptoms of a hernia by incision occur after surgery and commonly cause by the bowel or abdominal tissues. These tissues push through the abdominal wall.
  • Femoral Hernia. It occurs in the abdominal area between the connection of legs and upper body, near the groin. Femoral hernia is more common in women.
  • Epigastric Hernia. It is caused by the abdominal fat that bulges in between the belly button and lower part of the rib cage or breastbone.

According to Cleveland Clinic, the most common type of hernia is the inguinal or femoral, ranging from 75% to 80%. Then, umbilical hernia often occurs, ranging from 3% to 10%, affecting almost 20% of newborn babies. However, the other types of hernia less commonly with less than 3% of occurrence.

Treatment for Symptoms of a Hernia

The treatments for the types and symptoms of a hernia vary. The first step that doctors may recommend is to change the patient’s daily lifestyle, such as diet, exercise, activities, and habits. There could also have medicines to prescribe to lessen the symptoms of a hernia.

Surgery will be an option if the hernia does not improve through the first recommendations. A hernia will be fixed through the surgery using a surgical mesh. Surgical mesh is a synthetic product made from animal tissue that will support weakened or torn tissues. It can come through temporary and permanent use of this product.

Complications After Surgery

Complications after hernia surgery are rare but can still take place.

  • long duration of pain in the area
  • hernia may return
  • a small amount of urine remains in the bladder
  • a build-up of fluid in the surgical site
  • infection and injury to other organs
  • swelling and blood clot
  • death among with strangulated hernia

What If Symptoms of a Hernia Are Left Untreated?

The symptoms of a hernia might worsen if it is left untreated. The pain it causes can be a distraction to everyday life, affecting workability and inability to move comfortably. The size can also grow as the days go by, and performing surgery soon will be more complicated. Meanwhile, the most dangerous risk is strangulation, wherein the bowel gets trapped into the hernia. Hence, blood supply may stop, and emergency surgery is needed.


How to Prevent a Hernia

An individual can prevent the occurrence of a hernia through the following:

  • losing weight if obese or overweight
  • avoiding or quitting smoking
  • limiting alcohol intake
  • having a proper technique with lifting heavy materials


Hernia can occur to both men and women in different body parts. The symptoms of a hernia can be painful. Thus, consulting a doctor is recommended. It can also help to avoid complications and worsening the symptoms. Some hernias can also cause complications, such as strangulation that may lead to death. All treatments are safe and preventive measures are easy to follow. If signs and symptoms of a hernia were observed, do not think twice and consult a doctor.

Learn more about Musculoskeletal Pain here.


Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Written by Shienna Santelices · Updated Aug 06, 2021

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