ABC Medical Center > Inguinal hernia

What is Inguinal hernia?

21:54 - 4 May , 2021


It is a bulge that appears when tissue protrudes through a weak spot in the abdominal muscles. It can be imperceptible or cause a lot of pain, especially in coughing fits, challenging body positions, when exercising, or when moving or carrying heavy objects.

Generally, inguinal hernias are more frequent in males and can occur before birth or appear for the following reasons:

  • Intense physical activity.
  • High abdominal pressure.
  • Abdominal wall weakness.
  • Pregnancy.
  • Excessive effort when defecating and urinating.Severe coughing fits or sneezing.

Signs and symptoms Inguinal hernia

The most common are:

  • Bulging tissue in the groin.
  • Weakness or pressure in the groin.
  • Groin pain or discomfort.
  • Sometimes pain and swelling around the testicles.
  • Heaviness in the groin.
  • Irritation or discomfort in the bulging area.

An inguinal hernia can cause life-threatening complications, especially if the intestine becomes trapped and blood circulation is interrupted, causing symptoms such as:

  • Bulging hernia that darkens, turns reddish, or burgundy.
  • Progressive pain. 
  • High fever.
  • Nausea and vomiting.
  • Stuck feces and gases that cannot come out.

If you have any of these symptoms, do not hesitate and go immediately to the Emergency Room, because when the intestine is trapped it is essential to restore blood flow through surgery to avoid greater risks. 

Potential risks:

  • Family history.
  • Being of old age.
  • Pregnancy. 
  • Suffering from constipation.
  • Having been premature and having a low birth weight. 
  • Being a man. 
  • Having had a previous inguinal hernia. 
  • Severe coughing fits.

Diagnosis and treatment Inguinal hernia

After analyzing your symptoms, clinical history, and performing a physical examination, your doctor, if deemed necessary, will request a series of imaging studies such as abdominal ultrasound, computed tomography, or MRI to corroborate the diagnosis and define the steps to follow.

If your hernia is small and does not cause discomfort, your doctor will likely recommend only checking and monitoring it constantly. But if it’s enlarged and painful, you’ll likely have open or laparoscopic surgery to repair the hernia.

Here are a series of recommendations to prevent the appearance of an inguinal hernia:

  • Stay at your optimal weight. 
  • Eat foods rich in fiber.
  • Avoid excessive efforts and lifting heavy objects.
  • Quit smoking. 

In ABC Medical Center’s Internal Medicine Department, we offer health care services with the highest quality and safety, from the prevention, diagnosis, timely treatment, and monitoring of infectious, respiratory, endocrinological, dermatological, rheumatic, nephrological, gastrointestinal, and hematological pathologies of both chronic-degenerative diseases and acute conditions, through a comprehensive and multidisciplinary model.


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  • Carrera LN, Camacho LMR. Tipo de hernia inguinal encontrado en la población general, según la clasificación de Nyhus. Cir Gen. 2018;40(4):250-254.
  • Díaz MJ, Ramírez CG. Hernioplastia inguinal endoscópica total extraperitoneal (TEP). Experiencia de nuestros primeros 100 casos en un hospital de segundo nivel. Rev Mex Cir Endoscop. 2017;18(2):73-77.
  • Perera RLL. Tratamiento de la hernia inguinal ambulatorio versus hospitalizado. Mediciego. 2012;18(Suppl: 2):.

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