Inguinal Hernia - Weakness in the Inguinal Floor

>> Saturday, February 14, 2009

A hernia occurs when a defect or weakness in a muscular or fascial layer allows tissue to abnormally protrude. Between 500,000 to 1,000,000 hernia repairs are performed every year and half of all of them are inguinal hernias. In decreasing incidence are incisional and ventral, femoral and umbilical. Indirect inguinal hernias are the most common in both males and females with a 5:1 male predominance.

Hernias are categorized as reducible, incarcerated or strangulated. Reducible hernias can be returned to their body cavity of origin, incarcerated hernias cannot be returned to their body cavity of origin while strangulated hernias contain a tissue with a compromise vascular supply.

Patients with reducible inguinal hernias describe an intermittent bulge in the groin or scrotum. Persistence of the bulge or nausea or vomiting raises concern for incarceration. Severe pain at the hernia site or in the abdomen with nausea and vomiting, may occur in strangulation.

Treatment for hernias are usually surgical in nature. Reducible hernias should be repaired on an elective basis. An incarcerated hernia should be operated on urgently whereas a strangulated hernia is a surgical emergency.

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