An inguinal hernia refers to a weakness in the muscle or tissue wall within the groin area (lower abdomen and upper thigh). Since the hernia is an actual hole, soft tissue from inside the abdominal cavity will protrude to the outside, resulting in a bulge. Symptoms of an inguinal hernia are often mild, and include a sharp pain or dull pressure and a sensation that something is sliding or popping in and out of the body. The soft tissue that protrudes through the hernia is usually the small or large intestine. If the intestine protruding through becomes trapped (incarcerated), it may result in increased pain. If blood is not able to get to the trapped portion of intestine, gangrene may develop, requiring emergency surgery. Patients with an incarcerated inguinal hernia will find the…
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