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Hernia

From Academic Kids

A hernia is the protrusion of an organ or tissue out of the body cavity in which it normally lies. By far the most common hernias develop in the abdomen, when a weakness in the abdominal wall evolves into a localized hole, or "defect", through which the protrusion occurs. These may present either with pain at the site, a visible or palpable lump, or in some cases by more vague symptoms resulting from pressure on an intraabdominal organ which has become "stuck" in the hernia. Fatty tissue usually enters a hernia first, but it may be followed by or accompanied by a segment of intestine or other intraabdominal organ. It is generally advisable to repair hernias in a timely fashion, in order to prevent complications which include intestinal blockage, gangrene, and death. Most hernias can be surgically repaired. Recovery rarely requires long-term changes in lifestyle.

By far the most common abdominal hernias are the so-called inguinal hernias. Named for the Latin word for "groin", these involve the bulging of abdominal contents into a defect in the inguinal canal in the lower abdomen. Since they involve the embryological route of descent of the testicle, inguinal hernias are more common in males than females, and in males the hernia contents commonly enter the scrotum. Inguinal hernias are further divided into the more common "indirect inguinal hernia", in which the inguinal canal is entered via a congenital weakness at its apex, and the "direct" type, where the hernia contents push through a weak spot in its back wall.

Other abdominal hernias include umbilical, femoral, incisional, and diaphragmatic. Umbilical hernias, especially common in infants of African descent, involve protrusion of intraabdominal contents through a weakness at the site of passage of the umbilical cord through the abdominal wall. While these often resolve spontaneously in children, in some communities mothers routinely push the small bulge back in and tape a coin over the palpable hernia hole until closure occurs. This practice is not medically recommended as there is a small risk of trapping a small loop of bowel under part of the coin resulting in a small area of ischaemic bowel.

Femoral hernias, which can be virtually indistinguishable from the inguinal type, occur just below the groin crease, when abdominal contents pass into the weak area created by the passage of the femoral blood vessels into the lower extremities. An "incisional hernia" occurs when the defect is the result of an incompletely healed surgical wound. Higher in the abdomen, an (internal) "diaphragmatic hernia" results when part of the stomach or intestine protrudes into the chest cavity through a defect in the diaphragm. A hiatus hernia is a particular variant of the latter in which the normal passageway through which the esophagus meets the stomach serves as a functional "defect", allowing part of the stomach to periodically "herniate" into the chest.

As above, hernias are primarily described by location. Each type can be further categorized as:

Other types of hernias

See also

Umbilical Hernia: (Paraumbilical Hernia)

Template:Wiktionary

References

es:Hernia discal fr:Hernie it:Ernia ja:ヘルニア pt:hrnia nl:Hernia

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