Each recurrent hernia is called a recurrent hernia. Some types of hernias recur more often than others. Inguinal hernias appear in the groin. They make up the majority of all abdominal wall hernias and are predominantly a male disease. They appear as a bulge in the area where the thigh meets the body (the groin fold), but are further divided into two types. An indirect inguinal hernia follows the line of testicles that formed during the development of the fetus, from the abdomen to the scrotum. This pathway usually closes at an early stage of fetal development, but remains an inviting place for hernias later in life. A direct inguinal hernia easily occurs on the side of the abdomen, where the abdominal wall is naturally thinner. This rarely leads to a lump in the scrotum. Middle-aged and older men are particularly susceptible to direct hernias, as the abdominal wall becomes weaker with age.
Femoral hernias, however, occur more frequently in women than in men. They occur when part of the intestine is pushed through the femoral canal (where the femoral artery, vein and nerve run from the abdomen to the leg). They often present as a lump in the thigh below the groin.
Epigastric hernias (also known as ventral hernias) occur between the navel and the chest in line with the middle of the abdomen. Epigastric hernias are usually not protruding organs, but adipose tissue. They are usually painless, but cannot be pushed back into the stomach when they are discovered.
Scar hernias are the result of abdominal surgery when a defect has been introduced into the abdominal wall, which in turn causes a hernia. This type of hernia rarely occurs after routine abdominal surgery and can also recur after subsequent surgical repair.
Umbilical hernias are particularly common in children and occur where the abdominal wall on the navel is weakened. Small hernias of this type in infants often disappear on their own; larger ones require surgery. Later in life, mothers and pregnant women are at risk for this type of hernia due to the region’s pregnancy and birth stress.
Spigula hernias are quite rare and occur on the edge of the abdominal muscles through the Spigel fascia, a layer of fibrous tissue on the side of the abdomen. Prevention is better than healing. It is therefore very important to take appropriate precautions during regular exams to determine if there is a risk of hernia.