abdominal hernia

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An abdominal hernia is the protrusion of contents of the coelomic cavity through the wall that contains it, usually as a result of weakness in that wall. In the abdomen as elsewhere, this may be at a site of normal weakness, for example, a place where a vessel or viscus enters or leaves the wall.

In general hernia are:

  • reducible
  • have an expansile cough impulse
  • occur at congenital or acquired weak spots in the abdominal wall

Diagnosis of a hernia is based on:

  • site
  • presence of reducibility and an expansile cough impulse
  • when these signs are absent, the exclusion of other causes of a lump

Last reviewed 01/2018