In this case, the intestine or bladder protrudes through the abdominal wall or into the inguinal canal in the groin. Inguinal hernias occur most often in men because of a natural weakness in this area. The main symptom of an inguinal hernia is a protruding bulge in the groin or scrotum. The bulge may hurt or burn, and it often feels like a round lump. The bulge may form over the span of weeks or months, or it may appear after lifting a heavy object, coughing or any other type of abdominal straining.
This type of hernia is most common in elderly and overweight people who had just had abdominal surgery. The intestine pushes through a weak spot in the abdominal wall at the site of the previous surgical incision. If an incisional hernia is suspected, your doctor may look for symptoms like constipation or “narrow” stool, a lump or protrusion at or near the site of a previous incision, pain in the abdomen and around the protrusion, and nausea or vomiting.
Most common in pregnant and obese women, the intestine enters the canal carrying the femoral artery into the upper thigh. Symptoms of a femoral hernia are similar to those of all other hernias — a noticeable bulge and pain in the area surrounding the bulge. However, some femoral hernias may present little to no pain until they are serious and severe, meaning you should see a doctor as soon as you can upon the onset of symptoms. This type of hernia usually occurs very close to the hip bone, so hip pain and a bulge near the upper thigh are signs of a femoral hernia.
A ventral hernia occurs when tissue bulges through a weak spot in your abdominal wall muscles. Like an incisional hernia, many ventral hernias occur at the healed site of a past surgical incision. Ventral hernias can produce an array of symptoms, or no symptoms at all. Like other hernias, a bulge and/or pain may occur in your abdomen, and symptoms could worsen when standing or lifting heavy objects.
This upper stomach hernia squeezes through the hiatus, an opening in the diaphragm through which the esophagus passes. A hiatal hernia is one of the most commons types of internal hernias, meaning you will not see a bulge. In most cases, a hiatal hernia does not cause any symptoms. Sometimes, however, a hiatal hernia can cause digestive juices in the stomach to move up into the esophagus, which is known as acid reflux, or gastroesophageal reflux disorder (GERD). Symptoms of GERD include heartburn, an acidic or bitter taste in the back of your throat, feeling bloated, frequent burping and pain or discomfort in your stomach or esophagus.
Common in newborns, overweight men and women, and women with many children, an umbilical hernia occurs when part of the small intestine passes through the abdominal wall near the navel. Although umbilical hernias are most common in newborns, they can occur in adults, too — particularly in women due to pregnancy. A swelling or bulge near the navel is the main symptom. The bulge can be very tender, swollen or discolored.