Inguinal Hernia

Inguinal hernia are the commonest type of hernia and occur in the groin, the area between the lower abdomen and upper thigh. Over a lifetime approximately one quarter of men and 3 in 100 women will develop an inguinal hernia. Other risk factors include increasing age, obesity, chronic (long term) cough, constipation and heavy lifting.

These hernias can be divided into two types: Indirect and direct.

Indirect inguinal hernia can occur at any age. They follow the path taken by the testes during fetal development where they descend from the abdomen through the inguinal canal into the scrotum. Failure of closure of this pathway through the inguinal canal can lead to hernia development. Sometimes the hernia can extend down into the scrotum.

Direct hernia occur in middle age and as you get older. It is the result of weakness in the abdominal wall which can develop with increasing age.