Patient FAQ's

What is a hernia?

A hernia is an abnormal protrusion of a viscus (an organ) through it's surrounding wall.

Abdominal hernias are the commonest and have many types named by their location or their cause:

  • inguinal
  • femoral
  • umbilical
  • para-umbilical
  • ventral
  • epigastric
  • obturator
  • gluteal
  • lumbar
  • incisional
  • hiatus

What are the complications of hernias?

Hernias can cause a multitude of problems:

  • Pain - varying between sharp pains or a dull dragging pain. ¬†Often pains can be worsened by physical activity that will increase abdominal wall pressure such as heavy lifting
  • Lump - some hernias are virtually undetectable whilst others can result in extremely large lumps
  • Incarceration - this is when the hernia comes and and will not go back in = irreducible
  • Obstruction - when the bowel gets trapped in a hernia then it may block the bowel causing abdominal distension and vomiting
  • Strangulation - if bowel or fat gets trapped in a hernia and its blood supply becomes compromised then it will die in the hernia