Hernia Signs and Symptoms

Most patients only complain of a visible bulge in the groin, scrotum or abdominal area that often increases in size with coughing or straining. Most hernias, even large ones, may be manually reduced by applying gentle pressure in the supine position. A hernia that permanently protrudes and cannot be reduced is called incarcerated hernia. Sharp abdominal pain and vomiting may mean that the bowel has slipped through the hernia defect and its blood supply is compromised (strangulated hernia). The hernia itself is extremely tender and the overlying skin may become erythematous. This is a medical emergency and immediate operation is needed.