A hernia is the exit of an organ, such as the bowel, through the wall of the cavity in which it normally resides. Hernias come in a number of different types. Most commonly they involve the abdomen, specifically the groin. Groin hernias are most common of the inguinal type but may also be femoral. Other hernias include hiatus, incisional, and umbilical hernias.
Surgery is generally recommended for hernias to avoid complications such as strangulation, in which a loop of intestine becomes tightly trapped in a hernia, cutting off the blood supply to that part of the intestine. If a hernia can be pushed back (reduced), surgery can be done at the person’s convenience. If it cannot be pushed back, surgery must be done sooner.