What is an Inguinal Hernia?

 In Other Conditions

An inguinal hernia, or sometimes called a groin hernia, is a condition where soft tissue or fat pushes through a weakened portion of the abdominal muscles in the groin region.

How does it happen?

Most inguinal hernias happen because an opening in the muscle wall does not close properly before birth, this leaves a weakened area in the belly muscle making it susceptible to soft tissue or fat to push through.

What are possible symptoms?

  1. Heaviness or dullness in the groin area.
  2. Discomfort in the groin is noticeable when the intra-abdominal pressure is elevated. This occurs with straining, heavy lifting, and standing for long periods of time.
  3. A bulge in the groin region may be found on routine physical exam.

Which conditions predispose to a hernia?

  1. If you have a history of a prior hernia or hernia repair
  2. Family history of hernia
  3. Caucasian men
  4. Older patients
  5. Chronic cough
  6. Chronic constipation
  7. Smoker
  8. Heavy weight lifting

Potential complications?

Strangulation hernia occurs when blood flow to the hernia sac becomes compromised, this can result in necrosis (tissue death) of the hernia.

What are possible treatments?

  • Patients without symptoms who wish to avoid surgery, can be managed through watchful waiting and oversight from a primary care.
  • Patients who are symptomatic may require surgical repair.

Where can I get more information?

For additional information, please seek further guidance from your primary care provider.


Brooks, D.C. (2018). Overview of treatment for inguinal and femoral hernia in adults. M. Rosen & C. Wenliang (Eds.), UptoDate. Available from: http:// https://www.uptodate.com/contents/overview-of-treatment-for-inguinal-and-femoral-hernia-in-adults?search=inguinal%20hernia&source=search_result&selectedTitle=1~108&usage_type=default&display_rank=1

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