A hernia is a health condition where a tissue or its contents protrude through a weakening in the muscle covering. Although it can involve any part of the body, the commonly affected body parts include upper abdomen (a hiatal hernia), near the navel (an umbilical hernia), the outer groin (a femoral hernia), the inner groin (an inguinal hernia) and surgical scar mark (an incisional hernia).
Besides, anatomical location, they are further categorized as reducible and non-reducible hernias, later being more advanced and painful. Reducible hernias dissipate on their own, while most non-reducible hernia requires surgical removal and correction of the muscle wall. Regardless of the type, early identification of certain signs and symptoms can help diagnose the condition earlier, minimize suffering and improve the prognosis of the disease.
The following are 13 early signs and symptoms of a hernia:
A bulge in the abdomen
The first sign of a hernia is seen in the form of a noticeable swelling under the skin that eventually turns into a bulge and visible lump. This flange forms like a pocket containing hernia contents within the organs, especially that of the wall of the abdomen, naval, or groin. If left untreated for a long time, a hernia becomes more advanced and painful as the muscles expand, resulting in an even larger sac.
This notable bulge typically forms because of weakened tissue in any part of the body and is the basic characteristics of any hernia. It may be congenitally present in infants due to weaker muscle walls or may develop later in life due to several other reasons. In most cases, a patient will feel pain before the bulge is visible to the naked eye.