A soft lump in the groin, near the navel, or near a surgical scar may
be caused by a weakening in a muscle wall. This is called a
hernia. It is formed when an internal organ (usually
the bowel) pushes out through the muscle. The lump or swelling usually goes
away when you press on it or lie down and may get worse when you cough.
Although pain is not always present, a hernia can cause pain, which
can range from mild tenderness to severe pain. A hernia can also cause nausea
and vomiting when a part of an organ, usually an intestine, bulges outside the
abdomen and becomes trapped (incarcerated).
A hernia occurs when an organ or fatty tissue squeezes through a weak spot in a surrounding muscle or connective tissue called fascia. The most common types of hernia are inguinal (inner groin), incisional (resulting from an incision), femoral (outer groin), umbilical (belly button), and hiatal (upper stomach).
In an inguinal hernia, the intestine or the bladder protrudes through the abdominal wall or into the inguinal canal in the groin. About 80% of all hernias are inguinal, and most occur...