Inguinal hernias – the most common type of hernia, mainly affects men and occurs when fatty tissue or a part of your bowel drives through into your groin.
Umbilical hernias – occur when part of your bowel or fatty tissue pokes through the tummy nearer to your belly button.
This hernia can occur in babies.
Hiatal hernia – a portion of the abdomen pushes upwards into the chest cavity by an opening in the diaphragm. These hernias may not have apparent symptoms, although they can cause heartburn.
- Incisional hernias
- Epigastric hernias
- Spigelian hernias
- Diaphragmatic hernias
- Muscle hernias
The doctor can identify a hernia by examining the affected area.
Sometimes, they suggest you have an ultrasound scan to confirm the diagnosis.
Once confirmed, the doctor will determine whether surgery is necessary to repair the hernia. However, most hernias will not necessarily get worse.
There are two main ways to do surgery:
- Open surgery – where the surgeon makes a cut through which the lump is pushed back into the tummy
- Laparoscopy (keyhole surgery) – a more complex technique where several more minor cuts allow the surgeon to employ various instruments to repair the hernia
Most people can go home the day after surgery and fully heal within a few weeks. Make sure you examine the benefits and dangers of the surgery with your doctor before having the operation.
Reviewed by – Dr. Priyanka, MBBS MD
Page last reviewed: 04 October 2022