What is a hernia?
A hernia is an abnormal protrusion of internal organs or structures (such as bowel or fat) through an abnormal defect or weakness in abdominal wall (the muscular/tendinous layer of the belly).
How do hernias manifest?
Hernias are usually noticed as “lumps” in the belly. These lumps tend to occur in natural areas of weakness, most usually in the belly button (umbilical hernia) or the groin (inguinal or femoral hernias).
These areas are naturally weak as they are areas which allow the passage of structures in and out of the abdomen:
- Belly button – for the umbilical cord in foetal life
- Inguinal (groin) – for the passage of the spermatic cord which goes to the testicles
- Femoral (lower groin) – for the passage of blood and lymph vessels into and out of the legs