Symptoms of a Hernia

Below is a list of common signs and symptoms associated with several types of hernias.

Please be aware that these symptoms do not have to be concurrent to be indicative of a hernia.

Hernia SymptomsHernia Symptoms

Inguinal Hernia

A common sign of an inguinal hernia is the appearance of a bulge near the sides of the pubic bone. This protrusion can be more apparent when sitting upright or when coughing and straining the body.

Other symptoms associated with an inguinal hernia include swelling or pain in the testicles along with a pressure or weakness type sensation in the groin area. A bulge may also appear along the groin or pubic area that can increase in size when coughing or standing.

Patients should immediately see a doctor if they experience:

• Severe pain accompanied by noticeable swelling in the groin that is more apparent when standing and can be felt when directly touching the affected area.
• Pain or discomfort when straining or bending the body
• Aching or burning sensation
• Heavy sensation in the groin

Incisional Hernia

The most common symptoms of an incisional hernia include any instances of pain, pressure or swelling around a previous surgical area, as well as a fever. These symptoms are often discovered during the physical examination of the surgical scar. During the examination, the doctor may find a bulge as well as other protrusions of the internal tissue or other organs.

Patients should immediately see a doctor if they experience:

• Discoloration of the bulging tissue, usually of a deep red or purple color. This means that the hernia is now “strangulated” and is being cut off from its blood supply. Without immediate attention, the herniated tissue will die.
• Foul-smelling excrement
• Infection
• Bleeding around the surgical area
• Fever

Femoral Hernia

Normally there will be no obvious symptoms or signs of a femoral hernia in patients, but slight discomfort and/or physical changes can be experienced. A bulge may appear and protrude in the area of the upper thigh. With this, there can be discomfort in the groin area that will be aggravated with standing, lifting heavy objects, or any other form of strain to the area.

Patients should immediately see a doctor if they experience:

• Nausea and/or vomiting
• Stomach pain that is severe in nature
• Sudden spikes of pain in the groin

Umbilical Hernia

In children, these hernias are usually painless. The symptoms for umbilical hernias can become apparent when the patient cries, coughs, or exerts any other strain to the navel area. Most often, the indicating symptom is an area of swelling or a bulge near the bellybutton.

For adults, the symptoms remain the same as children and infants. However, if the hernia is left unresolved, it may begin to cause discomfort and become painful—requiring immediate attention.

Patients should immediately see a doctor if they experience:

• Pain
• Vomiting and/or nausea
• Discoloration, swelling, and tenderness of the bulge

Hiatal Hernia

Unlike other hernias, hiatal hernias rarely produce any visible swelling or bulge at the area of the hernia. To make matters worse—smaller hiatal hernias can cause almost no signs or symptoms, and may only ever be discovered when a doctor is examining for other conditions.

Larger hiatal hernias are more apparent in their symptoms and are more likely to be noticed. These hernias may cause symptoms indicative of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), such as acid reflux and heartburn. This is because the digestive fluids may begin to flow back from the stomach into the esophagus. While there may be a correlation between hiatal hernias and GERD, one does not directly cause the other, and the conditions experienced may vary.

Other signs and symptoms for hiatal hernias include:

• Difficulty breathing or swallowing
• Any signs of internal bleeding, such as the passing of black stools or vomiting of blood
• Heartburn
• Abdominal pain

While not always indicative of a hiatal hernia, patients are encouraged to see a doctor if any of these symptoms are apparent.

Contact Us / Request an Appointment: For more information about hernia repair, our doctors, or to schedule an appointment with Healthpointe, please call us at (888) 824-5580.