What Does a Hernia Feel Like?

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Symptoms of hernias include discomfort when lifting objects or bending over, a swelling in the abdomen or groin beneath the skin and a heavy feeling in the abdomen, according to WebMD. A hernia occurs when an internal organ slips through a weak spot in the abdominal wall.

WebMD explains that hernias are generally named after the location of the weak spot. The most common organ to slip through weak spots is the intestine. Common weak spots prone to hernias are the sites of prior surgeries, the inguinal canal (in men), the femoral artery and the navel. Hernias are of particular concern if the protruding organ gets trapped in the site of the hernia. The blood supply to the organ can get cut off and cause a medical emergency.