A hernia occurs when an organ or fatty tissue squeezes through a weak spot in a surrounding muscle or connective tissue called fascia. The most common types of hernia are inguinal (inner groin), incisional (resulting from an incision), femoral (outer groin), umbilical (belly button), and hiatal (upper stomach).

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What Causes Hernia?

Hernias are caused by a combination of muscle weakness and strain. Depending on its cause, a hernia can develop quickly or over a long period of time.

Common causes of muscle weakness include:

. failure of the abdominal wall to close properly in the womb, which is a congenital defect
. age
. chronic coughing
. damage from injury or surgery

Factors that strain your body and may cause a hernia, especially if your muscles are weak, include:

. being pregnant, which puts pressure on your abdomen
. being constipated, which causes you to strain when having a bowel movement
. heavy weight lifting
. fluid in the abdomen, or ascites
. suddenly gaining weight
. persistent coughing or sneezing

What Are the Symptoms of Hernia?

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The most common symptom of a hernia is a bulge or lump in the affected area. In the case of an inguinal hernia, you may notice a lump on either side of your pubic bone where your groin and thigh meet. You're more likely to feel your hernia through touch when you're standing up.

If your baby has a hernia, you may only be able to feel the bulge when he or she is crying. A bulge is typically the only symptom of an umbilical hernia.

Other common symptoms of an inguinal hernia include:

. pain or discomfort in the affected area (usually the lower abdomen), especially when bending over, coughing, or lifting
. weakness, pressure, or a feeling of heaviness in the abdomen
. a burning, gurgling, or aching sensation at the site of the bulge

Best Hernia Operation in Kolkata Other symptoms of a hiatal hernia include:

. acid reflux, which is when stomach acid moves backward into the esophagus causing a burning sensation
. chest pain
. difficulty swallowing

In some cases, hernias have no symptoms. You may not know you have a hernia unless it shows up during a routine physical or a medical exam for an unrelated problem.