The most noticeable symptom of a ruptured hernia is a swelling beneath the skin by the abdomen or the groin, states WebMD. This swelling is usually prevalent when the person coughs or lifts something, notes Merck Manual. When lying down, the hernia may not be noticeable at all.
Other symptoms of a ruptured inguinal, femoral, umbilical or incisional hernia include a heavy feeling when bending down, constipation, blood in the stool and pain when lifting, according to WebMD. If the person has a ruptured hiatal hernia, he may get heartburn or pain in the upper abdomen.
Sometimes a ruptured hernia causes no pain, and only a small bulge is visible, states Merck Manual. A doctor or the patient can often push this back into place. Incarcerated hernias also cause little to no pain, but a doctor can't push it back in. In the case of a strangulated hernia, the person experiences escalating pain, nausea and vomiting, and the hernia itself cannot go back in.
People should seek medical attention immediately if they suspect they have a ruptured hernia, states WebMD. If they wait to long to see a doctor, it could lead to organ strangulation. If the hernia is not incarcerated or strangulated but cannot be pushed back in, the doctor schedules a surgery, notes Merck Manual. If the hernia is incarcerated or strangulated, the doctor schedules surgery immediately.