Hernia is an abnormal protrusion of abdominal contents via a defect or weakness in the abdominal wall. Most common hernia are inguinal and umbilical hernias. Both can be a result of congenital defect (i.e. from birth) or it can acquired. Other common form of hernias are incisional hernias, which occurs after an operation, and femoral hernias, which are closely related to inguinal hernias.


Most hernia present as a lump which usually is most prominent on straining or standing up. It often disappears when relaxed or lying flat (reducible). Occasionally, it does not disappear and may become incarcerated. Strangulation occurs when the content of the hernia (often bowel) become constricted and losses its blood supply. This is uncommon. Symptoms of strangulation may include worsening pain over the hernia, skin colour changes over the hernia, nausea, vomiting, fever and abdominal distension. Strangulation is a surgical emergency and you need to seek medical attention immediately.


Hernia can be repaired via an open or laparoscopic approach. It involves identifying the hernia defect, return the hernia contact back into its normal cavity and repairing the hernia defect which often involves placing a synthetic mesh.