A hernia is simply a hole or defect in the abdominal wall. Hernias are common and occur at natural points of weakness such as the groin or the navel (umbilicus), or at the site of a scar from a previous operation. When you stand up, cough or strain your ‘insides’ push out through the hole so you see or feel a swelling under the skin. The swelling will usually disappear when you lie down.
In the following pages I have tried to answer the most common questions that people ask when they first realise they might have a hernia.