ZocdocAnswersCould I have a hernia?

Question

Could I have a hernia?

I had an operation for Pyloric stenosis when I was 10 days old so have a scar above and to the right of my belly button. Lately if I sneeze hard, stand up quickly or stay in a foetal position for too long I get a strong pain and a hard lump that sticks out visibly where the scar is. I have to push it back in and stand up as straight as I can until the lump and pain go away. Can you tell me what's happening?

Answer

A hernia is a weakening in the abdominal wall that can lead to protrusion of abdominal contents such as bowel or fat. You should seek evaluation by your physician for a definitive diagnosis. An incisional hernia occurs at the site of a prior operation and is a common risk of undergoing surgery. When the transversalis fascia, the strength layer of your anterior abdominal wall, weakens, it can create pouch or potential space into which your internal abdominal contents can protrude. Often times this appears as a soft, painless lump at the site of the hernia that is easily reduced with gentle manual pressure. This can occur more frequently when you increase the pressure inside your abdomen such as when you sneeze or curl up. If abdominal contents get trapped inside the hernia, the hernia is described as being incarcerated. This presents as a hard lump that cannot be easily pushed back in. The feared complication of an incarcerated hernia is strangulation. A strangulated hernia is when the blood supply to the abdominal contents is compromised. This requires an emergent operation to repair any damaged abdominal contents. You cannot receive a diagnosis without being thoroughly evaluated by a physician. As such, I recommend that you seek a consultation with your doctor who can refer you to a surgeon if necessary for hernia repair.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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