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There are different types of hernias

Updated: Tuesday, May 25,2010, 4:01:42 PM
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There are different types of hernias:

Inguinal hernia - An inguinal hernia most often occurs when a portion of intestine protrudes through the lower abdominal wall in the groin area. this is the most common type of hernia, affecting about 2 percent of American men. This type of hernia can also occur in women, though less often. A direct inguinal hernia creates a bulge in the groin area, and an indirect hernia descends into the scrotum in men or to the outer folds of the vagina in women, according to AMA. most inguinal hernias in adults result from strain on abdominal muscles that have been weakened by age or due to congenital reasons. According to ACS, this type of hernia can develop over time, or it can appear suddenly. It can exist without symptoms, or it can be accompanied by pain or discomfort.

Hiatal hernia - Hiatal hernia occurs when the upper part of the stomach moves up into the chest through a small opening in the diaphragm (diaphragmatic hiatus). The diaphragm is the muscle separating the stomach from the chest. many otherwise healthy people age 50 and over have a small hiatal hernia, although hiatal hernias can affect people of all ages. hiatal hernias usually do not require treatment. However, treatment may be necessary if the hernia is in danger of becoming strangulated (twisted in a way that cuts off blood supply, for example a paraesophageal hernia). Treatment may also be needed if the hernia is causing esophagitis (inflammation of the esophagus) or a condition called gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD. GERD results when the acidic contents of the stomach flow back up into the esophagus, leading to persistent heartburn. studies show that the opening in the diaphragm acts as an additional sphincter around the lower end of the esophagus. Studies also show that hiatal hernia results in retention of acid and other contents above this opening. These substances can reflux easily into the esophagus, potentially leading to GERD. In such cases, a doctor may perform surgery to reduce the size of the hernia or to prevent strangulation.

Femoral hernia - A femoral hernia occurs in the area between the abdomen and the thigh, and appears as a bulge on the upper thigh. this type of hernia is more common in women than men.

Incisional hernia - This type of hernia occurs at the site of a surgical incision and can form months or even years after the surgery. The protrusion pushes through a weakness created by the surgical scar.

Umbilical hernia - This type of hernia develops through the navel. It can be found in infants as well as children and adults.

Diaphragmatic hernia - Diaphragmatic hernia occurs when a portion of an abdominal organ protrudes into the chest through a hole in the diaphragm. This congenital type of hernia, which can be diagnosed during pregnancy by ultrasound, occurs when the fetus' diaphragm fails to develop completely. It is extremely dangerous and requires immediate surgery. A diaphragmatic hernia may also develop after a serious injury such as from a motor vehicle accident.

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