Do I have a hernia?

Author: Liz Kovac

“A hernia is a bulging of the abdomen caused by muscle wall weakness,” said Dr. Chelsea Smith, General Surgeon at McLaren Lapeer Region. “It can contain organs, including intestines.” While hernias are common, they don’t go away on their own. “Some hernias cause relatively zero symptoms, but some can cause severe symptoms,” said Dr. Smith.

Signs you might have a hernia:
There is a bulge in your abdomen or groin
You have pain / discomfort during a bowel movement
You have pain / discomfort in the stomach or groin when bending or lifting
You experience severe cramping, nausea, vomiting, and fever

How serious is a hernia?
Once a hernia becomes painful or continues to increase in size, you should consult your doctor. “After your doctor knows your symptoms, they will determine the best course of action,” said Dr. Smith.

What are the types of hernias?
Inguinal: When the intestine or bladder extends into the abdominal or groin muscles. This type is mostly occurs in men.
Incisional: When the intestine protrudes through the abdominal wall at the site of a previous surgery. This mostly occurs in people who are older, overweight, or inactive following abdominal surgery.  
Femoral: When part of the intestine causes a bulge in the upper part of the thigh, close to the groin. This is mostly common in women.
Umbilical hernia: When part of the intestine extends into the umbilical opening in the abdominal area. Infants are susceptible. 
Hiatal: When the upper part of the stomach squeezes through an opening in the diaphragm. A small one may be harmless, but a larger one can cause heartburn. 
How can I learn more?
If you think you have a hernia and need a physician referral, 
call 810-667-5714.