The hernia

A hernia is the exit of an organ or part of an organ outside the cavity in which it usually sits.

In this article, it will be mainly about digestive hernias. We will not talk here about herniated discs (occurring on the spine).

A gastrointestinal hernia is, by definition, the passage of a portion of a viscera (or sometimes several) of the abdomen in a hernia sac (formed by peritoneum) through a natural orifice or a weak point of the abdominal wall .

The peritoneum is schematically a large pocket lining the abdomen and which encloses part of the organs of the abdomen.

The portions of viscera contained in the hernia sac are most often of the small intestine, but also of the colon (especially for left hernias). Other elements may be involved. Sometimes the hernia sac is empty.

Hernias of the groin (inguinal, crural and obturator) are the most common. The groin is the anatomical area between the thigh and the abdomen. The most common are inguinal and crural hernias.

Crural hernias are more common in women. Men have an inguinal hernia more often. Nearly one out of every three male subjects is operated on with an inguinal hernia between 20 and 60 years of age. The inguinal hernia of the woman appears in the labia majora, that of the man appears more often at the level of the bursae (inguino-scrotal hernia).

But there are other digestive hernias:

The umbilical hernia is a hernia that appears over time, the umbilical opening being naturally closed shortly after birth.

The diastasis of the white line (between the umbilicus and the tip of the sternum) is a hernia that is seen in the pregnant woman or after several pregnancies, but also in other circumstances. It is a hernia that appears in the middle and up the belly.

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Read also :

> Peritonitis
> Hiatus hernia and gastroesophageal reflux
> Bowel obstruction
> Gastrointestinal disorders

Author: Dr. MC Bonduelle and Dr. Ada Picard.

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