Inguinal hernias are located in the groin region. Inguinal hernia is the classical hernia that people tend to associate the term “hernia” with. Inguinal hernias are far more common in men than women.
There are of two types of inguinal hernia, direct and indirect. For patients this distinction is irrelevant as the same operation fixes both types.
An inguinal hernia is essentially a weakness in the muscle wall of the abdomen. This weakness allows the lining of the abdominal contents (the peritoneum) to bulge through as a sac.
This peritoneal sac can contain bowel, so usually when you stand up the hernia appears as a lump/bulge in the groin and when you lie down it goes.
Typically the major problem that patients get with a hernia is a continual discomfort that often slowly worsens as the day goes on and usually eases at night when lying down.
Very rarely the bowel can get jammed in the peritoneal sac. This results in an incarcerated or even obstructed hernia. This will usually require admission to hospital as an emergency for acute repair.