Signs and Symptoms of a Hernia
Generally speaking, the signs and symptoms of any abdominal hernia are very similar, no matter where they present. Diagnosis of a hernia will largely depend on the physician evaluating the symptoms below as well as some diagnostic testing if necessary. The signs of a hernia may include:
Bulging in the Abdomen
A bulge in the abdomen that can be felt under the skin is the most common sign of a hernia. Particularly severe hernia bulges can even be seen as a protrusion under the skin. When patients suffering from a hernia lie down or change position, the organ may retreat back through the abdominal wall and the bulge or lump will temporarily go away. This does not mean the hernia is repaired. Once a patient assumes a normal upright position, the hernia will likely return. A hernia-related bulge that cannot be pushed back into the abdomen can be a serious condition known as strangulation or incarceration that requires a trip to the Emergency Room, and likely surgery, right away.
Hernia pain can be mild, modest or severe. The severity of a hernia is not commensurate to the pain that they cause. Mild hernia pain may actually represent a severe case and vice versa. Similarly, the location of the pain experienced with a hernia can be varied. Localized pain is usually dull in the beginning and can get progressively worse as the hernia expands. The stretching of the fascia around the hernia can often be felt and is very painful. Hernia pain can also extend outward from the hernia site if connected nerves, in other areas of the abdomen, are affected. This is known as referred pain.
Hernias do not repair themselves. In fact, they can become progressively worse and more complex to repair. The more complex a repair, the greater chance of complications after surgery. For that reason, we suggest that you contact our office as soon as possible, if you suspect you have a hernia.