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Hernia symptoms

Hernias may not cause any symptoms, but typical symptoms include:

  • a bulge in the groin or abdomen
  • pain, heaviness or discomfort, especially when coughing, straining or lifting
  • a pulling sensation around the bulge.

If you think you or someone in your care may have a hernia, it’s important to see a doctor to discuss treatment options.

Occasionally, tissue from inside the abdomen gets trapped in the hernia. Usually, the tissue can be gently pushed back into the abdomen.

But sometimes, it can’t. The symptoms of this include:

If you experience these symptoms, it’s important to see your doctor straight away, as you may need emergency surgery.

Sources:

UpToDate (Classification, clinical features and diagnosis of inguinal and femoral hernias in adults (2014).), UpToDate (Patient information: Abdominal wall hernias (The Basics))

Last reviewed: May 2015

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