(For adults, see Inguinal Hernia Inguinal Hernia An inguinal hernia is a protrusion of a piece of intestine or another abdominal organ through an opening in the abdominal wall in the groin. People have a painless bulge in the groin or scrotum... read more .)
A hernia in the groin is called an inguinal hernia (see Figure: What Is an Inguinal Hernia? What Is an Inguinal Hernia? A hernia is a protrusion of a piece of the intestine through an abnormal opening in the abdominal wall. An inguinal hernia occurs in the groin (the inguinal area). A piece of intestine protrudes... read more ). Inguinal hernias are more common among boys, particularly those who are premature. The right side is affected most commonly, and about 10% of inguinal hernias occur on both sides of the groin. An inguinal hernia extends into the groin and can extend into the scrotum. With an inguinal hernia, the opening in the abdominal wall can be present from birth or develop later in life.
What Is an Inguinal Hernia?
Inguinal hernias usually cause a painless bulge in the groin or scrotum.
Sometimes a portion of the intestine is trapped in the scrotum (called incarceration), and the bulge may become firm, tender, swollen, and red. If the intestine becomes trapped, the intestine’s blood supply can be cut off (called strangulation). Strangulated intestine may die (develop gangrene) within hours, and this condition is an emergency.
Doctors base the diagnosis on an examination.
Sometimes the doctor does ultrasonography Ultrasound Scanning (Ultrasonography) of the Abdomen Ultrasound scanning uses sound waves to produce pictures of internal organs (see also Ultrasonography). An ultrasound scan can show the size and shape of many organs, such as the liver and pancreas... read more or computed tomography Computed Tomography (CT) In computed tomography (CT), which used to be called computed axial tomography (CAT), an x-ray source and x-ray detector rotate around a person. In modern scanners, the x-ray detector usually... read more (CT) to help make the diagnosis.