What is an Intestinal Hernia?
General Surgery

What is an Intestinal Hernia?

    What is an Intestinal Hernia?

    An intestinal hernia is a condition where there is a protrusion of the intestine through the abdominal wall. It may be congenital or acquired.

    Intestinal hernias occur when part of the intestines push through a weak spot in the muscle wall of the abdomen. This weakness may be caused by trauma, surgery, or other factors.


    The most common type of intestinal herniation occurs when part of the small bowel bulges into the abdomen through a weakness in the muscle wall. This is called an internal hernia.

    Internal hernias are more common than external ones. They usually happen because of a defect in the muscles that hold the intestines inside the abdomen. These defects can be caused by birth defects, infections, tumors, or inflammation.


    A rarer form of internal hernia involves the large intestine (colon) bulging out through a hole in the diaphragm. This is called an external hernia.

    In some cases, the bowel will push through the muscle layer of the abdominal wall into the chest cavity. This is called an inguinal hernia.


    In both cases, the herniated portion of the intestine becomes twisted and compressed, which causes pain and discomfort.

    If the herniation occurs in the small intestine, it is known as a gastric or gastroesophageal hernia. Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is one of the most common reasons why people develop these hernias.


    Surgery is usually required to repair the defect.

    A hernia is a weakness in the muscles that hold the intestines inside the abdomen. This allows them to bulge out through the muscle wall. There are two main types of hernias: inguinal and incisional. Inguinal hernias occur when part of the intestine pushes through a weak spot in the groin area. Incisional hernias happen after surgery. They occur because of a surgical opening that does not heal properly.


    The most common cause of this condition is obesity.

    Obesity is one of the leading causes of intestinal herniation. People who are overweight tend to put pressure on the abdominal muscles, causing them to weaken. If the weakened muscles allow the intestines to push through, then a hernia occurs.

    The content of the page is for informational purposes only, please consult your doctor for diagnosis and treatment.