What is a Hernia? A hernia is a general term that refers to a protrusion of an organ or tissue through an abnormal opening in the body. Most hernias are the result of a piece of intestine slipping through a weakness in the abdominal wall. Hernias develop most commonly around weak areas such as the navel and in the groin area (inguinal hernias) or previous incisions. Inguinal hernias are most common in men, primarily because of the unsupported space left in the groin after the testicles descend into the scrotum. A hernia can be both seen and felt as a lump in your abdomen or groin that may or may not disappear when you lie down. A reducible hernia usually disappears when you lie down and can be pushed back into the abdominal cavity. Discomfort is usually experienced - especially when you cough, lift something heavy, or stand for a long time. A large increase in pain may indicate that the hernia is worsening and a physician should be consulted immediately. Limiting activity, eliminating excess weight, and wearing a hernia belt or truss may provide temporary relief. However, the ONLY CURE IS SURGERY. For more information consult your physician or there are several internet reference sites such as www.herniainfo.com.