Here are answers to some of your questions about inguinal hernia.

What is an inguinal hernia?

Inguinal hernias (or groin hernias) are very common and fall into two subcategories:

  1. Direct inguinal hernias occur when abdominal contents emerge directly through a weak point in the muscles of the groin. This type of hernia is often associated with heavy lifting.
  2. Indirect inguinal hernias occur when stomach contents take an indirect route into the groin through an opening to the side rather than straight through the muscles.

Inguinal hernias look and feel like bulges in the groin. They can become more prominent when coughing, straining or standing. They are rarely painful and the bulge commonly disappears when lying down.


If not treated, what can happen?

Complications of inguinal hernias include:

  • Intestinal blockage
  • Incarceration – When a loop of intestine becomes trapped in the weak point of the abdominal wall, which can lead to bowel obstruction causing pain, nausea, vomiting and the inability to have a bowel movement or pass gas. This condition is known as incarcerated hernia and can lead to severe complications.
  • Strangulation – Once a part of the intestine is trapped in the abdominal wall due to incarcerated hernia, blood flow to this portion of the intestine may be cutoff, causing the tissue to die. Strangulation is a life-threatening complication and people exhibiting symptoms of a strangulated hernia need immediate surgical treatment.


How will the physician know if I have an inguinal hernia?

A patient’s symptoms along with a physical exam are usually enough to make the correct diagnosis.


How can this hernia be treated?

Inguinal hernias usually require surgery, typically an open mesh repair.


To make an appointment with one of our surgeons at the Beth Israel Hernia Center, please call 212.844.1555, or click here to fill out an appointment scheduling form. Staff will get back to you within
48 hours.

If you have questions about the Hernia Center and our doctors please email them to herniacenterny@chpnet.org.
We are glad to answer your questions but please do not send pictures of your hernia to the center.

For Appointment Call
212.844.1555


Questions
If you have questions
about the Hernia Center
and our doctors please email them to herniacenterny@chpnet.org

We are glad to answer your questions but please do not send pictures of your hernia to the center.