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Groin Hernias, Abdominal Hernias, Hiatal Hernia, Diaphragmatic Hernia, Brain Herniation, Disc Herniation

A hernia occurs when an organ or tissue bulges out of its proper location. Hernias can occur in numerous locations throughout the body, including the brain, abdomen, groin, spine, and chest. The most common types will be discussed below.

Hernias can be either congenital or acquired. Congenital means that the individual was born with an abnormal opening, allowing the hernia to occur. Such a hernia may show up immediately after birth, may cause no symptoms for years to come, or may never result in symptomatology. An acquired hernia is one which was not present at birth, but which occurred later, either due to some other anatomical abnormality, or due to weakening of an area with use and aging.

Hernias which involve loops of intestine, or other abdominal contents, may be reducible, meaning that the individual can push on the bulging area with a hand to move the intestine back into the abdomen. When a hernia cannot be reduced, it is said to be incarcerated. The greatest risk with any hernia containing intestine is strangulation, in which the hernia is incarcerated, and blood supply to the intestine is cut off. This is a medical emergency, and without surgical intervention, an area of the intestine may well die off.

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