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We answer the most common questions that arise in connection with hernias – clearly and at a glance!

The most frequently asked questions about hernias

What exactly is broken in the case of a hernia?


Hernias always occur when there are weak points in the abdominal wall. In the case of a hernia, the middle layer of the abdominal wall, which consists mainly of fascia and muscle tissue and which bears the brunt of the pressure, usually has a hole. Peritoneum and sometimes viscera are pressed outwards through this gap.

Unfortunately, hernias do not disappear by themselves. However, a hernia may not cause any discomfort for a long time. Most of the time, however, the hernia enlarges steadily over time.

As long as you have no symptoms, you do not necessarily have to treat a hernia. However, it is advisable to get a diagnosis from a specialist who can advise you on what to do if it gets worse. If the hernia becomes incarcerated, this is an emergency situation. In such cases, it is good to have a specialist who already knows your situation and whom you trust.

If organs such as parts of the intestine become trapped in the hernial orifice and cut off from the blood supply, this is an emergency situation. Often, emergency surgery must then be performed so that the organs do not die. In these cases, a hernia can be dangerous.

In an inguinal hernia, peritoneum and sometimes organs are pushed forward through the inguinal canal due to a weak spot in the abdominal wall. This usually manifests itself in a noticeable swelling in the area of the groin. The swelling often disappears when the patient lies down. In some cases, there may be burning or pulling pain in the groin area, which increases during physical activity.

Inguinal hernia usually occurs in men, mainly because in the course of development the testicles have to pass through the abdominal wall into the scrotum, leaving a weak spot in the abdominal wall. This weak spot in the abdominal wall is also the place where an inguinal hernia later appears. Inguinal hernias occur very frequently. Inguinal hernia surgery is performed even more frequently than surgery for an acutely inflamed appendix.

Yes, women can also have inguinal hernias. In women, pregnancy and childbirth often lead to a massive increase in pressure in the abdominal cavity and thus to an increased occurrence of hernias. However, the hernias in women occur more frequently in other parts of the abdominal wall than in the groin area.

Reducing physical activity and refraining from lifting heavy weights can reduce the pain. The only permanent solution for pain is surgical treatment of the hernia. We will be happy to advise you here on the different options to find the best solution for you.

We can only say whether an operation makes sense after an examination and an exact diagnosis. Make an appointment with us so that we can advise you individually.

Guidelines for hernia surgery

An international working group of 50 hernia experts called “HerniaSurge” developed the first international guidelines for inguinal hernia management. All experts have extensive clinical and scientific experience in hernia management.



PDF Guidelines for Hernia Surgery

Guidelines for the treatment of inguinal and abdominal wall hernias

The HerniaSurge Guideline is currently the most comprehensive guideline with the strongest evidence for the treatment of adult inguinal hernia, with 45 recommendations on 123 pages and 1299 references. This PDF compares the new guideline with other existing guidelines and summarises the main recommendations of the HerniaSurge guideline.



PDF Guidelines for the treatment of inguinal and abdominal wall hernias

International guidelines for the treatment of inguinal hernias (2019)

This is a summary of the International Guidelines for the Treatment of Inguinal Hernias. They were published in the journal Hernia. The HerniaSurge Guidelines consist of 165 pages with 136 statements, 88 recommendations and 1,299 references. The main goal of these guidelines is to improve treatment outcomes, especially a reduction in recurrence rates and a reduction in chronic pain.



PDF International Guidelines for the Treatment of Inguinal Hernias (2019)

Umbilical and upper abdominal hernias - Patient information

The European Hernia Society (EHS) is a medical association of medical experts, the industry and patients with a common interest in the repair of abdominal wall defects. This booklet is intended for you as a patient if you have an umbilical or upper abdominal hernia, or for your friends or family members who are involved in decision-making or treatment.



PDF Umbilical and upper abdominal hernias – Patient information