What Are the Different Types of Hernias?

Any hernia that recurs is called a recurrent hernia. Some types of hernia are more likely to recur than others. Inguinal hernias occur in the groin. They make up the majority of all abdominal-wall hernias and are an overwhelmingly a male affliction. They occur as a bulge in the area where the thigh meets the body (the inguinal crease) but are further broken down into two types. An indirect inguinal hernia follows the line, from abdomen to scrotum, of the testicles made during a fetus' development. This pathway usually closes itself in an early stage of fetal development, but remains an inviting place for hernias in later life. A direct inguinal hernia occurs slightly to the side of the abdomen, where the abdominal wall is, by design, thinner. It will rarely create a lump in the scrotum. Middle-aged and elderly men are particularly in danger of direct inguinal hernias because the abdominal walls weaken with age.

Femoral hernias, on the other hand, occur more frequently in females than in males. They occur when part of the intestine pushed out through the femoral canal (where the femoral artery, vein and nerve run from abdomen to leg). They often present as a lump in the thigh below the inguinal crease.

Epigastric hernias (also known as ventral hernias) occur between the bellybutton and the rib cage in line with the middle of the abdomen. Usually, epigastric hernias are not protruding organs, rather, fatty tissue. They are generally painless but can not be pushed back into the abdomen upon discovery.

Incisional hernias are a result of abdominal surgery, when a flaw has been introduced into the abdominal wall, which has in turn produced a hernia. This type of hernia occurs infrequently after routine abdominal surgery, and may recur even after subsequent surgical repair.

Umbilical hernias are quite common, especially among children, and occur where the abdominal wall is weakened at the navel. Small hernias of this type in infants often resolve on their own; larger ones require surgery. Later in life, mothers and pregnant women are at risk for this type of hernia because of the stress pregnancy and birth put on the region.

Spigelian hernias are quite rare and occur along the edge of the abdominal muscles through the spigelian fascia, a layer of fibrous tissue to the side of the abdomen. Prevention is better than cure. Thus it is very important that proper care be taken in having regular check ups to know if there is any chance of hernia.