An inguinal or groin hernia occurs when a small portion of the bowel bulges out through the inguinal canal – a passage or opening through the muscles of the abdominal (belly) wall – into the groin.  Inguinal hernias are most common in men.

There are two subcategories of inguinal hernias:

  1. Direct – when abdominal contents emerge directly through a weak point in the muscles of the groin. This type of hernia is often associated with heavy lifting.
  2. Indirect – when stomach contents take an indirect route into the groin through an opening to the side rather than straight through he muscles.

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