Difference Between an Inguinal and Umbilical Hernia

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Any abnormal exit of an organ or fatty tissue through an opening is known as a hernia. There are different types of a hernia found in human beings and mostly they involve the abdomen, particularly the groin.

An umbilical hernia

In an umbilical hernia, there occurs a swelling or bulge near your umbilicus or navel. It occurs when a fraction of your intestine sticks out by the opening in your abdominal muscles by which your umbilical cord passed before your birth. Umbilical hernias are usually harmless. They occur mostly in infants but can affect adults also. In infants, umbilical hernias mostly close on their own in the first two years of life but likely to need surgery when occurring in adulthood.

An inguinal hernia

Whereas an Inguinal hernia develops when part of the membrane lining the intestine pokes out via a weak spot in the abdomen mostly along the inguinal canal, that carries the spermatic cord in males. It occurs when tissue like a portion of the intestine, poke out through a weak spot in the abdominal muscles. The consequential bulge can be painful, particularly when you a cough, lift a heavyweight or bend over. Although not necessarily dangerous, it never improves on its own and can have severe life-threatening complications. Your doctor is likely to suggest you a general surgical procedure to fix the problem.


An umbilical hernia

During development of an infant, the umbilical cord passes through a tiny opening in a baby's abdominal muscles. The opening generally closes after birth. But if the muscles don't join together totally in the midline of the abdominal wall, it can cause an umbilical hernia at a birth time or later in life. In adults, a large amount of abdominal pressure contributes to umbilical hernias which can be due to obesity, accumulation of fluid in the abdominal cavity, pregnancy, earlier abdominal surgeries etc.

An inguinal hernia:

Some types of inguinal hernias generally don�t have any noticeable cause. Others might occur because of a pre-existing weak spot in the abdominal wall with increased pressure due to lifting heavy weight, constipation or diarrhea, constant coughing or sneezing, smoking or obesity. In males, the weak spot normally occurs in the inguinal canal at the place where the spermatic cord goes into the scrotum whereas in women, the inguinal canal holds a ligament that helps keep the uterus in place, and hernias may occur at the place where tendons from the uterus joins to tissue around the pubic bone.

Treatment :

An umbilical hernia:

In infants, generally no treatment needed and it closes on its own whereas, in adults, surgery is performed to fix the problem.

An inguinal hernia:

In an inguinal hernia, a general surgery is required to solve the problem.


An umbilical hernia

Prevention of an umbilical hernia includes avoiding sharp movements, keeping healthy weigh, controlling pressure during coughing and sneezing and no straining during bowel movements.

An inguinal hernia:

You can prevent an inguinal hernia by maintaining a balanced weight, curing constipation, avoiding lifting heavy weighs and taking precaution during coughing and sneezing.

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