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Hernias

A hernia exists where part of the abdominal wall is weakened, and the contents of the abdomen push through to the outside.

An inguinal hernia forms when part of the intestine pushes through the abdominal wall, causing a bulge in the groin.

A hiatus hernia is caused by part of the stomach and lower oesophagus bulging through the diaphragm (a sheet of muscle between the chest and the stomach) into the chest. A hiatus hernia can cause a burning feeling in the upper abdomen and chest (heartburn).

Surgical treatment is usually quite straightforward and involves returning the abdominal contents to the inside and then reinforcing the abdominal wall (or diaphragm in the case of a hiatus hernia) in some way.

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This page was last updated at 11:02AM on August 7, 2014. This information is reviewed and edited by Hernias.