Weak spots or tears can develop in the layer of muscle in the abdominal (stomach) wall resulting in the contents of the abdomen pushing through. This produces a lump called a hernia.
Hernias are usually repaired with simple surgery.
A hernia can be dangerous because the intestines (bowels) or other structures within the abdomen can get trapped and have their blood supply cut off (strangulated hernia).
Hernias are very common in all age groups. Several factors can contribute to developing a hernia:
- Persistent or chronic cough
- Straining to lift heavy objects
- Persistent sneezing
- Straining during bowel movements or while urinating
- Inherited weakness in the abdominal wall