McKenzie Surgical

What is a hernia?

The word hernia, in latin, means 'rupture'.

hernia is the protrusion of an organ or tissue through an opening in its surrounding walls.  
There are many types of hernias.  Some of the most common are:  Indirect inguinal hernia, direct inguinal hernia, femoral hernia, umbilical hernia, incisional hernia, diaphragmatic hernia, stoma hernia and hiatal hernia. 

The most common hernias occur in the abdomen when a defect or weakness in the abdominal wall causes a hole.  This then allows the organ, or connective tissue of an organ, to protrude through it and a hernia is "born".  You may, or may not, feel pain when touching the area of the hernia.  If you are a man, you may have swelling in the scrotum around the testicular area.  You may, or may not, have a lump or bulge at the site of the hernia.  You may, or may not, be able to push the bulge back in.

A reducible hernia is when the bulge can be pushed back into the body.  An irreducible or incarcerated hernia is when you cannot push the bulge back into the body.  An irreducible or incarcerated hernia of the abdomen can then lead to a strangulated hernia.  A strangulated hernia is always painful and tender to the touch.  You may experience nausea, vomiting and/or fever with a strangulated hernia.  A strangulated hernia occurs when bowel is caught and twisted or clamped in this hole in the abdominal wall, thus causing the trapped bowel's tissue to die due to loss of blood flow.  This demise of the bowel leads to the release of toxins (poisons) into the blood stream and causes septicaemia (blood poisoning) and, if untreated, death.

A strangulated hernia is a potentially life threatening condition and if you are experiencing these symptoms, seek a medical professional immediately.

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