What is an inguinal hernia?
An inguinal hernia occurs when the abdominal wall weakens. This allows fatty or intestinal tissues to protrude through the weak area. The resulting bulge may be painful, particularly when you bend over, cough or carry a heavy object.
For many people, hernias occur in the groin area as the abdominal contents protrudes through the inguinal canal.
What causes an inguinal hernia?
Excessive pressure on the abdominal wall weakens this area and thus results in hernia. Certain activities such as engaging in strenuous lifting, straining during bowel movements, having chronic cough, pregnancy, being overweight or obese place undue pressure on the abdominal wall. These increase the risk of hernia.
How do I know if I have inguinal hernia?
Signs and symptoms include:
- A bulge in the groin or scrotum
- Pain or discomfort when bending over, coughing or exercising
- A burning sensation in the bulge
- A heavy sensation in the groin
How is inguinal hernia diagnosed?
A physical examination will be carried out by the doctor to diagnose an inguinal hernia. If your diagnosis is not immediately apparent, you might be asked to undergo a diagnostic imaging test such as abdominal ultrasound, CT scan or MRI by the doctor.
Why hernia repair to treat inguinal hernia?
If you have a hernia, it is not likely to heal when left untreated. Hernias that are growing in size or causing pain might interfere with daily activities. These usually require surgery to ease the discomfort and prevent serious complications like painful, twisted intestines. Hernia repair is a common procedure and is highly successful when done by an experienced surgeon.