A hernia can present as a  painless swelling that might not require any  immediate medical attention.

At times,  hernia may, however, be the cause of discomfort and pain, with symptoms of hernia often becoming worse when standing, straining, or lifting heavy items. Most people who notice increasing swelling or soreness eventually see a doctor.

Depending upon the type of hernia and site of hernia patients might experience different types of symptoms. broadly, hernia can be classified into 3 types:

Reducible hernia

    • It may appear as a new lump in the groin or other abdominal area.
    • It may ache but is not painful when touched.
    • Sometimes pain appear before the appearance of bulge.
    • The lump increases in size when standing or when abdominal pressure is increased (such as coughing).
    • It is reduced or disappears (pushed back into the abdomen) when pressure is applied.
    • Such types of hernia are usually easy to treat  and the  long term results are excellent after surgery.

Irreducible hernia

  • Sometimes in long standing hernia, a reducible hernia does not reduced completely and persists as  occasionally painful enlargement that cannot be returned into the abdominal cavity  when you push it.
  • Irreducible hernia occurs usually over a period of time without pain.
  • 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 intestine is trapped or pinched in such a bad manner that blood supply is completely shut down often resulting in death of trapped tissue due to lack of oxygen.  This often results in emergency surgery in order to free the pinched tissue and return regular blood flow to this area.
  •  An incarcerated or strangulated hernia is very painful condition and if  not treated on an urgent basis, it can turn into a life threatening condition.
  • Nausea, vomiting and severe abdominal pain are also symptoms of a strangulated or incarcerated hernia.
  • Hence, it is always advisable to take the opinion of a specialist surgeon when you notice a bulge or swelling in the inguinal or stomach region. Hernia should always be treated as a planned surgery to achieve best results and to minimize recurrence.

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