incisional hernia 3d illustration

6 Common Types of Hernias

October 17, 2019

What are the most common types of hernias? Get to learn about them in this article. A hernia is that bulge that grows inside the groin or abdomen resulting when an organ in the human body pushes through tissue or a muscle opening. Hernias are also caused by strain or muscle weakness. An example of this is the intestine pushing a weaker spot in the abdomen wall.

Hernias are usually harmless but can have a tendency to grow more painful for others especially when it is not examined by a physician earlier on. In fact, hernias can develop faster or over an extended period for others, so always look after the symptoms. There are several types of hernias that a person can contract. A hernia usually bulges from the abdomen, but it can also grow inside the groin, belly button or upper thigh. While a hernia is not a cause for a hospital trip emergency scare, it has to be treated as it cannot heal on its own with time. In fact, more severe types of hernias will require surgery to prevent worsening or becoming life-threatening. Ways to prevent hernias from bulging include putting off bad habits of smoking, avoiding carrying objects using your sensitive knees (not the back), carrying bulky objects altogether, or simply ensuring to maintain a healthy diet plan and weight. Read about the six most common hernia types below.

6 Types of hernias

Six Common Types of Hernia

Inguinal Hernia

An inguinal hernia grows in the groin and is the most common type for males, making up around 70 percent of hernia cases. In fact, 1 in 4 males in their lifespan, may develop this type of hernia. The reason behind this is because when a boy is born, the testicles go toward the inguinal canal. This canal is meant to be closed, but sometimes, it won’t close properly, leaving a vulnerable area more prone to hernia growth. For men, the inguinal canal is located in his groin region while a woman’s inguinal canal has a ligament holding her uterus.

Additionally, there are also two kinds of hernias. One is the direct inguinal hernia. This hernia grows over time inside the abdominal wall and is most often caused by decades of sports or physical activity. An indirect inguinal hernia is the second type of inguinal hernia which develops due to a natural weakness within the abdominal wall usually developed from birth. It is important to see the physician quick when the pain in the region worsens, especially for males because when uncared for, the hernia may spread to the scrotum.

Umbilical Hernia

The umbilical hernia is a type of hernia that grows inside a navel (usually bulging through the abdomen wall) and often occurs among infants below six months old. It is the least threatening type of hernia and usually heals by itself without medication as long as the abdominal muscles of the child grow stronger, usually by one year of age.

Umbilical hernias can also develop later in age and is felt like an uncomfortable bulge. If it does not go away, you may need to get it surgically removed.

Femoral Hernia

An uncommon type of hernia, the femoral hernia most often develops due to a weakness within the wall of the abdomen. It will appear as a lump in one’s upper area of the inner groin or thigh.

This lump may be pushed in or can be hidden as the individual lies down or coughs. A femoral hernia can be painful and can further induce vomiting or stomach pain when left unexamined or treated. In fact, surgery is advised for this type of hernia. A femoral hernia occurs mostly among women over men. It is quite an uncommon type as it grows just five percent among the types of groin hernia.

Ventral Hernia

A ventral hernia is a type of hernia that grows inside the abdominal wall and between the pubic and breast bone. It is made up of bulging tissues. Symptoms of developing this type of hernia include thin stools, rapid heart beating, vomiting or nausea.

A ventral hernia may also develop in the navel or upper abdomen. Sometimes, they are also called an incisional hernia when they develop in the same abdominal wall forming on the healed region after surgery. When the tissues that make up this hernia becomes trapped in their abdominal muscle, it can be a cause for pain, nausea, vomiting, or constipation.

In very rare cases, a ventral hernia can become life-threatening. “Strangulation” can occur, where blood circulation to an area of the body will be cut by constriction. This will then need emergency surgery.

Epigastric Hernia

An epigastric hernia is a lump of fat that develops when a fat mass is being pushed out in a weak region of the abdominal wall, just between the sternum and navel. This hernia is usually located below the breast bone, in the upper abdominal wall region.

An abdominal ultrasound or CT scan can diagnose an epigastric hernia. Epigastric hernias do not usually heal on their own and will require surgery. An epigastric hernia usually occurs among children, but can be performed when they are a little older.

Hiatal Hernia

A hiatal hernia is a type of hernia which causes a part of the stomach to protrude up to the diaphragm and toward the chest cavity. Hiatal hernia is more common among older individuals above 50 years of age.
If an infant does develop a hiatal hernia, it is usually due to a congenital birth defect. This type of hernia brings about gastroesophageal reflux. Gastroesophageal reflux is when contents of a stomach leak reversely toward the esophagus. This will then cause a burning sensation.

Hiatal hernias can be treated with antacids in the early stages. This helps takes away stomach acid. Prescribed medications to decrease or block acid production and heal one’s esophagus will also be given by the doctor. A hiatal hernia may require surgery if it worsens.

These are the most common types of hernias to watch out for; remember never to delay a visit to your doctor to prevent the hernia from worsening as soon as possible.