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Incarcerated Inguinal Hernia - Symptoms and Treatment

An inguinal hernia is an abnormal bulge, or protrusion, that can be seen and felt in the groin area (the area between the abdomen and the thigh). It is called 'inguinal' because the intestines push through a weak spot in the inguinal canal. Inguinal canal is a triangle-shaped opening between layers of abdominal muscle near the groin. Obesity, pregnancy, heavy lifting, and straining to pass stool can cause the intestine to push against the inguinal canal. A hernia is when tissue or part of an organ bulges out of its normal place in the body. An inguinal hernia, or groin hernia, is when something from the abdomen (belly) slips out of place. It is often a loop of intestine (bowel) that falls out of place and makes the hernia.

Sometimes the hernia contains part of another organ, or other tissue from the abdomen (such as fat). Inguinal hernias happen most often in males, but females can have them also. Before a baby is born , the testicles and ovaries begin life high in the back of the belly. A band-like cord forms, called the gubernaculum. This attaches to the testicle or ovary on one end, and to the inside of the scrotum or labia on the other end. Slowly, the gubernaculums pulls and guides the testicles down through a tube called the inguinal canal and out into the scrotum (the descent of the testicles). The ovaries also descend, into the pelvis, but they do not exit the abdomen. Then, the slippery inguinal canal closes permanently the walls fuse together in the few weeks surrounding birth .

Causes of Incarcerated Inguinal Hernia

Find common causes and risk factors of Incarcerated Inguinal Hernia:

  • Lifting heavy objects
  • Being moderately to severely overweight
  • Pregnancy
  • In just over 10% of cases, other members of the family may have had a hernia at birth or in infancy
  • Persistent coughing, such as smoker's cough
  • For men, trying to urinate when there is a blockage caused by an enlarged prostate

Signs and Symptoms of Incarcerated Inguinal Hernia

Sign and symptoms may include the following :

  • A smooth mass that is usually not tender
  • Localized pain in the area of the hernia

Treatment for Incarcerated Inguinal Hernia

Treatment may include:

  • The only treatment for an inguinal hernia is surgical repair. This should be done before the hernia becomes incarcerated or strangulated.




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