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Types of Hernia

The following are some of the most common types of hernias discovered in people:

  1. Inguinal hernia
  2. Femoral Hernia
  3. Hiatal Hernia
  4. Umbilical Hernia
  5. Incisional Hernia
  6. Epigastric Hernia
  7. Ventral Hernia
  8. Spigelian Hernia
  9. Sportsman’s Hernia
  10. Diaphragmatic Hernia &
  11. Obturator Hernia

Inguinal Hernia: Causes & Symptoms

Inguinal hernia occurs when the intestines or fat from the abdomen push through the lower abdominal wall into the inguinal or groin. It can be classified into two types: indirect inguinal and direct inguinal hernia.


  • Heredity (or) Genes
  • Having a prior inguinal hernia
  • Being male
  • Premature birth
  • Being overweight or Obese
  • Pregnancy
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Chronic cough & constipation
  • Heavy lifting (or) standing (or) walking for many hours each day at work


  • A bulge in the groin
  • A bulge in the scrotum in a male
  • Pain in the groin during lifting weights, coughing (or) exercising
  • Weakness, heaviness or burning in the groin

Femoral Hernia: Causes & Symptoms

Overstrain causes intra-abdominal tissues to be pushed through a weaker area in the muscle. A femoral hernia occurs when a piece of tissue pushes through the femoral canal’s wall. It bulges below the inguinal ligament, that is near the groin or thigh. So some femoral hernias are often confused with inguinal hernias. Femoral hernias are more inclined to become strangulated hernias, which is a serious and most common complication of femoral hernias.


  • Childbirth
  • Chronic constipation & coughing
  • Difficult in passing urine or stool
  • Lifting or pushing heavy objects
  • Dialysis treatment
  • Obesity
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  • Ascites
  • Ventriculoperitoneal shunt


  • Severe stomach pain
  • Sudden groin pain
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Bulge in the upper thigh i.e. next to the groin
  • Severe pain during standing, lifting heavy objects, or straining

Hiatal Hernia:  Causes & Symptoms

Hiatal hernia occurs when the upper portion of the stomach pushes into the chest cavity through the esophageal hiatus, a diaphragm gap.


  • Coughing & Vomiting
  • Straining during bowel movements
  • Heavy lifting (or) Physical strain
  • Pregnancy
  • Obesity
  • Smoking
  • Born with a larger hiatal opening than usual
  • Changes in your diaphragm as you age


  • Heartburn from gastro esophageal reflux disease (GERD)
  • Gastrointestinal bleeding
  • Bloating & Burping
  • Trouble swallowing
  • Bad taste in your mouth
  • Sour/Bitter taste in the throat
  • Upset stomach & vomiting
  • Flow of food and fluids from stomach to mouth
  • Shortness of breath
  • Severe pain in your chest or belly
  • Difficulty in passing gas & stool
  • Feeling full soon after you eat

Umbilical Hernia:  Causes & Symptoms

Umbilical hernia results when the opening in the abdominal muscle that allows the umbilical cord to pass through fails to close completely. These are more common in infants and the elderly, but they can also affect adults. It is a painless lump that forms in or near the navel. Because of a weakening in the muscles in or around the belly button, the navel pops outwards.


  • Age (infants & old people)
  • Obesity
  • Frequent (or) Multiple Pregnancies
  • Previous abdominal surgery
  • Long-term dialysis
  • Abdominal surgery
  • Persistent cough & Vomiting
  • Holding an extreme amount of belly fluid (or ascites)
  • Urinary problems caused by an enlarged prostate
  • Chronic Constipation
  • A significant increase in your abdomen
  • COPD


  • A lump in the navel
  • A bulge or swelling in or near belly button/navel
  • bigger bulge while coughing, straining to have a bowel movements, or during sitting
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Constipation

Incisional Hernia: Causes & Symptoms

An incisional hernia is a type of hernia that occurs in the abdominal muscle. It is caused by weak spots in the muscles near an incision site made for surgery. It usually occurs after abdominal surgery, though it can also occur after other types of surgery (e.g., knee surgery). The risk of developing an incisional hernia increases with age and obesity.

The most common symptom of an incisional hernia is a lump in the scar tissue on the belly button. Other symptoms may include pain, nausea, and vomiting.

Epigastric Hernia: Causes & Symptoms

Epigastric hernia refers to a condition where a part of the stomach or abdominal wall pushes into the chest and then descends into the top of the abdominal cavity. The condition is caused due to an opening in the muscle layer of the diaphragm.

Symptoms of Epigastric hernia include abdominal swelling and protrusion; pain or discomfort during coughing or other types of physical activity; nausea and vomiting etc.

Ventral Hernia: Causes & Symptoms

Ventral hernias occur when the abdominal contents push through a weak point in the abdominal wall caused by weakened muscle and connective tissue. This can be caused by a previous rupture of an intra-abdominal structure, such as an umbilical or inguinal hernia that did not heal properly. Other causes could be trauma to the abdomen and medical conditions that weaken abdominal muscles and tissues such as Crohn’s disease, chronic pancreatitis, obesity, etc.

The pressure on the nerves and organs such as intestines can cause pain, discomfort, or even complications like sepsis.

Spigelian Hernia: Causes & Symptoms

Spigelian Hernia is a rare type of hernia in which the abdominal contents push through an opening in the muscles and tissues near the navel. It is caused by the weakening of the abdominal muscles and tissues. The most common site of involvement for this hernia is in the space between the rectus abdominis muscles and either side of the midline iliac crest, which is termed as ‘spigelian’.

The main symptom is pain under the navel, especially when coughing or straining. Other symptoms may include bowel problems, fever, nausea, vomiting and constipation.

Sportsman’s Hernia: Causes & Symptoms

Sportsman’s hernia is a condition that happens when there is a tear in the cartilage of the inguinal canal. A sportsman’s hernia is caused by repetitive stretching of the groin muscles during exercise. It is characterized by pelvic pain that occurs with coughing or heavy lifting.

Diaphragmatic Hernia: Causes & Symptoms

Diaphragmatic hernia is a life-threatening birth defect. It happens when the visceral organs in the abdomen push through a hole in the diaphragm, a sheet of muscle that separates the chest from the abdomen.

Diaphragmatic hernia can cause an obstruction of blood flow to and from the lungs and heart, which can lead to pulmonary hypertension and congestive heart failure.

Symptoms include

  • Shortness of breath
  • Irritability or crying for prolonged periods
  • Chest pain caused by coughing or sneezing
  • Excessive sweating in early stages etc.

Obturator Hernia: Causes & Symptoms

Obturator hernia is an uncommon type of hernia that occurs in the pelvis. The obturator canal is a small space at the side of the pubic bone, above the upper part of the femur which leads to a cavity in front of the hip socket. There are two types of Obturator herniations: indirect and direct. Indirect herniation occurs when an internal part of the abdomen pushes through one or more openings in the pelvic floor – buttock area, vagina, urethra, or rectum. Direct herniation happens when intestines push through an opening into the back side of the pelvis.

Strangulated hernia:  Causes & Symptoms

Strangulation is one of the potential complications of hernia that necessitates immediate surgery. It happens when the blood flow to the affected tissue is cut off and it dies. Strangulation causes a number of severe symptoms. Many people have visible bulges in their abdomen or groin, which is a clear indication for this condition to present. 


  • Pregnancy
  • Strenuous activity
  • History of abdominal surgery
  • Straining during bowel movements
  • Chronic coughing


  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Blood in stools
  • Constipation
  • Inability to pass gas
  • Increased heart rate
  • Sudden pain that worsens in a short span
  • Red skin over the affected region &
  • Visible bulges on the abdomen or groin


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