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Hernia (cont.)

Hernia Symptoms and Signs

The signs and symptoms of a hernia can range from noticing a painless lump to the severely painful, tender, swollen protrusion of tissue that you are unable to push back into the abdomen (an incarcerated strangulated hernia).

  • Reducible hernia
    • It may appear as a new lump in the groin or other abdominal area.
    • It may ache but is not tender when touched.
    • Sometimes pain precedes the discovery of the lump.
    • The lump increases in size when standing or when abdominal pressure is increased (such as coughing).
    • It may be reduced (pushed back into the abdomen) unless very large.
  • Irreducible hernia
    • It may be an occasionally painful enlargement of a previously reducible hernia that cannot be returned into the abdominal cavity on its own or when you push it.
    • Some may be chronic (occur over a long term) without pain.
    • An irreducible hernia is also known as an incarcerated hernia.
    • It can lead to strangulation (blood supply being cut off to tissue in the hernia).
    • Signs and symptoms of bowel obstruction may occur, such as nausea and vomiting.
  • Strangulated hernia
    • This is an irreducible hernia in which the entrapped intestine has its blood supply cut off.
    • Pain is always present, followed quickly by tenderness and sometimes symptoms of bowel obstruction (nausea and vomiting).
    • The affected person may appear ill with or without fever.
    • This condition is a surgical emergency.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 8/6/2013

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Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

Hernias »

As defined in 1804 by Astley Cooper, ahernia as a protrusion of any viscus from its proper cavity.

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