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Types of Hernias

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Types of Intestinal Obstruction

Types of Hernias

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A hernia occurs when contents of the abdomen, usually a portion of the intestine, protrudes through an area of weakened muscle or tissue. Types of hernias include: hiatal, inguinal, femoral, umbilical, and incisional. If a hernia becomes strangulated, emergency surgery must be performed to restore blood flow and to prevent bowel necrosis.

This type of hernia occurs when a portion of the upper stomach protrudes into the esophagus or thorax through a weak area of the diaphragm.

Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)

Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease is a complication of a hiatal hernia, causing reflux of stomach acid into the esophagus. Clinical manifestations of this syndrome include heartburn and regurgitation.


An inguinal hernia is present when contents of the abdomen protrude through a weak area in the inguinal canal where the spermatic cord is present in men, and where the round ligament is located in women.


Inguinal hernias are more common in men than in women due to inherent weakness along the inguinal canal.


Femoral hernias present as an area of swelling, or a bulge, in the femoral area near the groin. This type of hernia occurs when contents of the abdomen, usually the intestines, push through a weak spot in the femoral canal.


These hernias are more common in women due to the shape and angle of the female pelvis.


Incisional or ventral hernias are common in patients who have had several or repeat surgeries in the same anatomical area, those who are obese, or those who have experienced poor healing. With incisional hernias, the hernia protrudes through a weakened scar.


An umbilical hernia occurs in persons with a weakened rectus abdominis muscle, such as those who are obese or when the umbilical opening fails to close after birth. As the name describes, the hernia occurs at the umbilicus or belly button.


When a hernia becomes pinched, blood flow to the affected area of the bowel may be cut off. When this occurs, emergency surgery is required to prevent bowel tissue necrosis.


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