How Do You Get A Hernia?

Hernias are usually divided into two main categories:

Congenital Hernia

Congenital hernias develop before you are born and are present at birth, and may not be diagnosed for weeks, months or even years. A hernia that develops much later in life may actually result from a weakness that you have had since you were a baby. In boys, the weakness results from the failure of the sac that precedes the testicle during its decent through the abdominal wall down the inguinal canal into the scrotum to close. In girls, the weakness is caused by a similar failure of the opening that allows the round ligament of the uterus to pass through the inguinal canal to close.

In fact, inguinal hernias occur in up to 5% of full-term and 30% pre-term infants, and are often seen by mothers who notice a bulge in their baby’s lower groin when they cry.

Acquired Hernia

Acquired hernias develop when the muscles, or connective tissue, in your abdomen are weakened or damaged during your lifetime, and the body’s natural cycle of tissue breakdown and repair is disrupted. This can be due to aging, or a poor balancing of replacement good versus bad collagen tissue, the building block of all wounds. Although this explanation sounds very simple, hernias are actually quite complex.

Incisional hernias can develop in up to 50% of patients who have had prior open abdominal operations, and can also occur in port sites used in laparoscopic surgery (trocar hernias).

Some patients have congenital conditions that interrupt the body’s natural healing processes, while others negatively affect healing through their lifestyle choices; for example, smoking.

What causes muscles to weaken?

Your body is constantly involved in a well-balanced equilibrium between old tissue breakdown and new tissue replacement. As you age, the enzymes that help to control this natural process can get out of balance. When your body cannot balance the build and repair cycle, weak spots may develop in your ligaments and connective tissues, particularly noticeable in the groin area. Over time, your tissues may also be weakened by other factors, including poor nutrition, diabetes, smoking, obesity / excessive weight gain, injuries and surgical operations.