Inguinal Hernia: Symptoms, Diagnosis and Surgery

The inguinal hernia is a bulge that arises in the region of the groin, more frequent in men, that is usually due to a part of the intestine that comes out through a weak point of the abdominal muscles.

There are 2 main types of hernia inguinal:

  • Inguinal hernia direct: is more common in adults and the elderly, happening after making efforts that increase pressure in the belly, how to handle heavy objects;
  • Inguinal hernia indirect: it is more common in babies and children because it happens for a problem that allows the entry of a piece of intestine in the scrotal bag.

In both cases, the treatment is done with surgery to reattach the intestine in the correct location and strengthen the muscles of the abdomen, so that this does not happen again.

The main symptoms

The most common symptoms of inguinal hernia are:

  • Lump or swelling in the groin area;
  • Pain or discomfort in the groin when you lift, bend or lift the weight;
  • Feeling of heaviness in the groin.

In infants, the hernia may be more difficult to identify because there may not be a bulge in the groin at the time of changing the diaper. However, one way to evaluate the presence of the hernia is to look at the groin at the time that the baby is crying, because the pressure from crying makes the hernia more visible.

Already in the men, in addition to the classic symptoms of the hernia, may also arise a sharp pain that radiates to the testicles.


In almost all cases of hernia, the doctor may push the intestine to the interior of the abdomen, relieving the symptoms, but it is always necessary to do surgery to fix definitely the problem. When the hernia is not back to the interior of the abdomen, there is a high risk of incarceration, in which the intestine becomes stuck and can result in death of the tissues.

How do you know if the hernia is incarcerated

To find out if the intestine is trapped, it is important to be aware of the symptoms such as:

  • Pain very intense in the hernia;
  • Vomiting;
  • Abdominal distension;
  • The absence of stool;
  • Swelling of the inguinal region.

This type of complication is more frequent in babies because many times the hernia is difficult to identify and, therefore, as the treatment is not started in time, the hernia will worsen over time. Thus, it is advised that, if there is a suspicion of hernia in the baby, see your pediatrician as soon as possible.

How to confirm the diagnosis

The diagnosis of hernia is usually made by the physician only with the observation of the site. This physical examination is very common that the doctor have to cough or to push with the belly, to identify if the hernia is more protruding, helping in the identification.

However, in some cases, you may need to do other diagnostic tests such as an mri or a ct scan to confirm the diagnosis.

What causes inguinal hernia

The hernia in the inguinal region happens when the abdominal wall is weakened, allowing the bowel to make pressure on the muscle and ahab going out to under the skin. For this reason, the hernia can only happen when there is a weakening of the muscles of the abdomen, which is more common in people with:


  • Increased abdominal pressure, by coughing or chronic constipation;
  • Congenital defects in the abdominal region;
  • Diseases of the lung, the heart or the gut.

In addition, the hernia is also more frequent in children or elderly, due to the fragility of the abdominal wall.

How is the surgery for treatment

Surgery for hernia inguinal is the best form of treatment, being especially recommended when she displays symptoms. The surgery is performed under local anesthesia or spinal and lasts for about 2 hours.

This type of surgery can be done in the classical way, in which you made a cut in the region of the hernia to put the bowel at the site, or by laparoscopy, where they are only used 3 small cuts. However, it is common that most of the surgeries are done in the classical way as to facilitate the placement of the intestine in the correct location.

How is the recovery

The recovery is relatively quick, but as the surgery is almost always made of classic shape, is usually need to stay hospital for 1 to 2 days to ensure that the vital signs are stable and that does not arise a infection.

Then, when returning home it is important to have some care, especially during the first 2 weeks, such as:

  • Avoid bending the stem until the complete healing of the wound;
  • Do not hold more than 2 kg of weight;
  • Do not sleep on your stomach;
  • Increase the consumption of foods rich in fiberto avoid constipation and the effort to defecate.

It is also advised that during the first month avoid to stay too much time sitting, not being, therefore, recommended to drive.

Possible complications of hernia

The main complication of hernia happens when the intestine becomes very stuck in the abdominal wall, eventually losing the blood supply. When this happens, the tissues of the intestine may begin to die, causing severe pain, vomiting, nausea, and difficulty to move around.

These cases usually only happen in a hernia is not treated and should be treated as soon as possible in the hospital to avoid the complete death of the tissues. If this happens it may be necessary to do a surgery to remove a part of the intestine.


How to avoid the emergence of a hernia

Not always it is possible to prevent the hernia arises, however, there are some measures that can decrease risk, such as for example:

  • Practice regular physical exercise, at least 3 times per week to keep the muscles strengthened;
  • Make a diet rich in vegetables and other fibers, to decrease the chances of constipation, which increases abdominal pressure;
  • Avoid picking up objects too heavy, especially without help.

In addition, maintaining a body weight ideal also helps to reduce the pressure in the abdominal area, reducing the chances of a hernia.

Inguinal Hernia Symptoms, Diagnosis and Surgery 1

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