Different types of hernia

A hernia occurs when an organ protrudes through a weakness in the surrounding tissue or muscle often presenting as a lump. Hernias are most likely to involve the abdomen and groin, but can occasionally occur in other areas of the body as well. There are several different types of hernias and getting the best treatment is dependent on you or your medical professional identifying exactly which treatment is best suited to you as an individual. In most cases, the lump can be moved temporarily back into place by lying down or by gentle pressure. Most hernias need surgery to treat them but in some cases, the risks of surgery outweigh the risk of leaving the hernia in, especially if it is not causing the patient any pain or symptoms. Open surgery and keyhole surgery are available to fix hernias, but your doctor will explain which one is best suited to your individual circumstances.

Inguinal or Groin Hernias

Inguinal hernias are the most common type of hernia that can occur. Inguinal hernias are most likely to happen in men and can be caused by frequent strain on the abdomen (such as pushing on the toilet when trying to pass a stool) or general wear and tear as you age. These occur when part of your bowel or stomach pushes through to your groin and enters the inguinal canal. Inguinal hernias commonly appear as a lump at the top of the groin or as a swollen scrotum. The lump may appear then disappear again if you are lifting heavy objects. If you have no groin lump but significant groin symptoms such as dragging sensation or groin pain on coughing and sneezing, a scan or keyhole camera can be used to identify if this is the hernia type you have got.

An incarcerated inguinal hernia as seen on cross-sectional CT scan

Hiatus hernias

Hiatus hernias are caused by a weakness in the diaphragm, allowing part of the stomach to push through into the chest cavity. The symptoms of a hiatus hernia can be similar to those of other disorders so can be more difficult to identify than inguinal hernias and indeed there may be no symptoms at all. The most commonly reported symptom for this type of hernia is acid reflux. Medical professionals are not sure what causes this type of hernia and it has been suggested that aging of the diaphragm could be a factor, along with smoking and being overweight. Again, this hernia in some cases may be treated by surgery, although your doctor will decide which type is best for your condition.

Please ensure you consult a healthcare professional before making decisions about your health.
For further information visit our hernia repair procedure page, or to book an appointment, please call us on 0161 495 7756.