Types of Hernias
An inguinal hernia or groin hernia is the most common type of hernia in adults. Inguinal hernias are most common in men although they can also occur in women. With an inguinal hernia, abdominal contents, most commonly small intestine, can protrude through the hernia creating a visible bulge. A hernia can also be painful. Pain caused by an inguinal hernia can be a constant, daily pain or may be sporadic, occurring once in a while. Inguinal hernias can also be bilateral, occurring on both sides of the abdomen instead of a single side. Learn more about Inguinal or Groin Hernias
A femoral hernia is a type of groin hernia that occurs a little lower in the groin than an inguinal hernia. This hernia is less common than inguinal hernias and is more common in women. Femoral hernias have a higher tendency to become stuck or strangulated. These hernias should almost always be repaired.
Umbilical hernias occur in or around the belly-button, or umbilicus. The belly button is an inherently weaker area in the abdominal wall, likely due to the fact that your umbilical cord once inserted into this area. Over time, from repeated strain or stress a hernia can from weakening the fascia in this area. In adults, as with any hernia, an umbilical hernia will not heal and go away but may grow larger with time. Occasionally an umbilical hernia may become problematic in that incarceration or strangulation can occur. These hernias may occur in infants at or just after birth, and may resolve at 3 or 4 years of age. However, the area of weakness can persist throughout life, and can occur in men, women and children at any time. In adults, umbilical hernias will not resolve, and may progressively worsen over time. They are sometimes caused by abdominal pressure due to being overweight, excessive coughing, or pregnancy. Learn more about Umbilical Hernias.
Incisional hernias are hernias that may occur anywhere in the abdomen in the area of a prior surgical incision (wound). Once any incision is made through the abdominal wall, that area is always weaker than other areas of the abdominal wall. Thus, the fascia at an incision is more prone to hernia formation. Hernias of this type usually present with a bulge at or near the area of the prior incision. These hernias can appear at the site of a previous surgery weeks, months, or even years later, and can vary in size from small to very large and complex. Incisional hernias usually result from 1) too much tension placed on the abdominal wall when the hernia was repaired initially, 2) poor healing whether from infection, obesity, poor nutrition, or certain medications (most commonly steroids), and 3) repeated wear and tear to the surgical incision. Incisional hernias may cause a bulge or pain. These hernias can develop at any time after the original surgery. Learn more about Incisional Hernias.
Very rarely, a ventral hernia may develop without a previous abdominal incision (epigastric hernia is one type). Unattended, they may widen and become extremely difficult to repair.