The stomach and intestines are covered and protected by three layers of tissue: the peritoneum, a wall of muscles and the skin. When a tear or weak spot develops in the muscle wall, internal tissue can push through, creating a hernia.
Abdominal herniation is a common condition affecting both sexes and all ages. The three main locations of hernias are:
- Inguinal or groin, where the lower abdomen meets the leg
- Incisional, in an area of prior abdominal surgery
- Umbilical or belly button, which usually appear in infancy or early childhood
Most hernias stay the same size or get larger very slowly. Once a hernia appears it doesn’t go away by itself. An exception to this is belly button hernias which often disappear by age three or four.
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