Hernias manifest when an organ or fatty tissue squeezes through a weak spot in a surrounding muscle or fascia, a connective tissue. The pressure paired with this weak spot or opening is what ultimately causes all hernias. There are several different types that can occur in a variety of body areas, such as the abdomen, pelvis, and torso.

While this muscle weakness can be present at birth, most often hernias develop later in life. Anything that potentially increases pressure in the abdomen can elicit a hernia. This includes lifting heavy objects, diarrhea, and persistent coughing or sneezing. Obesity, poor nutrition, and smoking can all make suffering a hernia more likely. Hernia symptoms vary by patient but include a visible lump that’s painless and a painful or swollen protrusion of tissue. Discerning you may have a hernia can be difficult since they don’t always cause problems. If you are experiencing abdominal pain or pelvic pain then you may want to start thinking about seeing someone about it.

If you believe you may be experiencing a hernia, seeking consultation from your primary care physician or provider is the recommended first step in your evaluation. If a hernia is present, seek additional consultation from a hernia surgeon who can provide more in-depth information and indicate whether an operation is needed or more watchful waiting. When seeking out a hernia surgeon or specialist, you should ensure the surgeon is licensed and Board Certified. This is confirmed for free through the American Board of Medical Specialties website. Come prepared to your appointment with questions about their experience in treating hernias – this can include inquiring about your physician’s experience in dealing with your type of hernia.

Memorial Healthcare will soon host free hernia screenings – a great opportunity if you believe you may be afflicted by one. They will occur of the course of the next few months.

The screenings are free but pre-registration is required. Email or call  (989) 729-4780 to register. Don’t miss this opportunity to get some answer about a possible hernia. For more information about Memorial’s Hernia Clinics, visit