Inguinal and femoral hernias, referred to as groin hernias, are very common. Approximately 10,000 hernia operations are performed in Western Australia each year.
Inguinal hernias occur in up to 10 percent of males but are much less common in females. Femoral hernias are more common in women than men but are much less common than inguinal hernias. The most serious complication of groin hernias is strangulation. This occurs when a segment of the bowel is caught in the hernia and becomes obstructed or even gangrenous – medical attention must be sought immediately. This complication is more common in femoral hernias. Hernias never cure themselves and almost always require surgery for repair.
An inguinal hernia is a gap in the strong tissue that holds muscles in place. It is found in the groin area. If the inside layers of the abdominal wall are weakened, this can result in a tear or bulge in the muscle. This inner lining as well as the abdominal tissue or intestine can be pushed through that, resulting in an uncomfortable sac.
An inguinal hernia can be caused by strain from heavy lifting, excessive coughing, difficulty with bowel movements, or natural weakness.
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