Basics of Direct versus Indirect Hernias

Table of Contents

Causes Symptoms Treatment Prevention Diagnosis

Basics of Direct versus Indirect Hernias: Organs push through weak parts of the surrounding muscle, causing a hernia. The most frequent type of hernia is an inguinal hernia.They occur when your abdominal wall has a thin patch. An inguinal hernia is a hernia that develops in the belly and travels into the inguinal canal. These are passageways on either side of the groyne that run down the lower abdomen.This sort of hernia usually manifests itself as a groyne protrusion.Basics of Direct versus Indirect Hernias is all about the details that can help you get the real picture of hernias.

There are two types of inguinal hernias:

  • Direct
  • Indirect

The anatomical location is the difference.Direct hernias protrude through the inguinal canal’s posterior (back) wall.Hernias that extend through the inguinal ring are known as indirect hernias. Direct hernias are caused by heavy lifting or straining, but indirect hernias are commonly congenital.

Basics of Direct versus Indirect Hernias

Learn more about indirect and direct hernias, including their symptoms, causes, and treatment options.
Then, schedule an appointment to see a doctor for a diagnosis.

What is the definition of a direct Hernia?

Inguinal hernias are usually caused by a weakening in the abdominal wall muscle.Acute events (heavy lifting) can cause weakness, or it can build over time. This hernia is most usually observed in adult males.

What is the definition of an indirect Hernia?

A congenital abnormality in the abdominal wall causes an indirect hernia.

Symptoms of Hernia

If the hernia is large enough, both an indirect and direct inguinal hernia can generate a bulge on either side of the groyne. When standing, straining, or coughing, the bulge is usually the most visible. Hernias are often painless until they become huge.
If the gut presses down into the scrotum, men may have pain there. In most cases, an indirect hernia develops in childhood. This is due to the fact that it is frequently a congenital disorder.
When a baby is sobbing, an indirect hernia may be the most visible. Unless the condition is the result of a specific injury, a direct hernia almost always arises in maturity, usually later in life.

Causes of direct and indirect Hernias, as well as their risk factors?

A direct Hernia is usually caused by a weakening of the abdominal muscle wall. Hernias normally develop as a result of increased abdominal pressure, such as when you strain or lift a large object. They are frequently associated to a weak region in the abdominal wall, which might be present since birth or develop over time as a result of abdominal surgery, traumas, or other factors. The weakness in men is commonly detected in the inguinal canal, which leads to the scrotum.

Indirect Hernia: A weak or injured abdominal muscle does not create an indirect hernia.
Instead, it happens when the inguinal ring, a band of abdominal muscular tissue, fails to close while the baby is still in the mother’s womb. The ring in boys permits the testicles to slip into the scrotum before closing.
A portion of the intestine can potentially push through it if it remains open.

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What are the symptoms of hernias and what are the treatments for both direct and indirect hernias?

A physical exam and, in rare cases, radiological testing are used to diagnose indirect and direct inguinal hernias. Your doctor will begin by gathering information about your medical history. Visually inspecting the area and palpating (to feel for a hernia) are both part of a physical exam. Because the hernia may be more visible when standing, you will be asked to stand for the inspection.

Your doctor will ask you to cough while they inspect your scrotum if you have testicles. The doctor will be able to feel the hernia move in and out as a result of this. If your doctor wants further information, he or she may request testing.
Hernias are diagnosed using the following tests:

  • Computed tomography
  • (CT) scan
  • Using ultrasound
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)


Inguinal hernias can not cure on their own and might become infected. Inguinal hernias can only be repaired surgically, which is why surgery is the only option. Every year, more than 20 million people throughout the world get groyne hernia surgery.

In both indirect and direct inguinal hernia surgery, two steps are involved

  • Returning the herniated tissue to its original position
  • Repairing the weak spot where the hernia developed (in indirect cases, this involves closing the inguinal canal)

The following are examples of common surgical procedures:

Open surgery:To locate and fix the hernia, your doctor will make an incision in your abdomen.
When sealing the abdominal wall, the surgeon may use stitches and a piece of mesh for added support.

Laparoscopic surgery entails making a series of small incisions in the abdomen.
After that, your doctor will introduce special tools that will allow the surgeon to see and fix the hernia.
This procedure may also include the use of mesh.

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A general surgeon or a colorectal surgeon performs both types of surgery under general anesthesia.
Inguinal surgery is normally performed as an outpatient procedure, which means you will be able to return home the same day.Basics of Direct versus Indirect Hernias can be very helpful.


An indirect inguinal hernia is a congenital issue that cannot be avoided. However, there are several precautions you may do to lower your risk of developing a direct hernia.

lose weight: If you’re overweight or obese, you should lose weight.
Weight loss won’t prevent a hernia, but it will relieve the tension on your abdominal muscles.

Quit smoking: For a variety of reasons, including the damage it causes to all of your body’s tissues and the increased risk of having a direct hernia if you cough a lot.

Be careful when lifting heavy objects: When moving large goods, use caution and lift from your legs rather than your lower back. To accomplish this, bend your knees to pick up items, then straighten your legs to stand. Your lower back will be less strained as a result of this.There are certain things you can do to reduce your chances of getting a direct inguinal hernia, such as:

  • Lifting big objects should be done with caution.
  • When having a bowel movement, don’t strain.
  • Constipation should be treated (difficulty moving your bowels).
  • Treat a cough that won’t go away.
  • If you have to strain to urinate
  • Seek medical help.
  • Maintain a healthy weight for yourself.


You have a higher risk of acquiring another hernia if you’ve had an indirect or direct hernia. Hernia surgeries are popular and have a high success rate, so you should expect a complete recovery. It could take many weeks before you’re able to resume your normal routine.
It’s also possible that you won’t be able to lift anything heavy for a period. For future lifting advice, you should speak with your doctor, a physical therapist, or an occupational therapist.

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