Definition: A hernia is the protrusion of an organ or tissue outside of the body cavity inside which it is normally located.
The most common type of hernia is the hiatus hernia, in which the stomach passes, partly or completely, into the chest cavity through the hole ("hernia") for the oesophagus, which is also known colloquially as the "windpipe" or "gullet".
Medical complications of hernias may include:
- Cannot return the tissues of the hernia to their usual state (irreducible).
- Tissues of the hernia become swollen and fixed within their sac (incarcerated).
- Hernia becomes cut-off from blood supply, becoming painful and eventually gangrenous (strangulated).
The usual medical treatment for hernias , especially painful ones, is surgical repair.
More about the Digestive System:
This section includes pages about:
- Introduction to the Digestive System
- Terminology about Digestion
- Passage through the alimentary tract
- Component Parts of the Digestive System, incl. Teeth, Stomach, Liver, Small Intestine, Large Intestine
- Chemical Processes in the Digestive System (introductory level)
- Diseases and Disorders of the Digestive System
For further information see also our pages of books about gastroenterology.
- The digestive system (introduction)
- Digestive System Terminology
- Main Stages of the Digestive Process
- Transit through the Alimentary Canal
- Absorption Sites
- Structures of the mouth
- Teeth - as part of the digestive system
- Small Intestine
- Large Intestine
- Digestive System Diseases & Disorders