A hernia is a bulge formed by a part of an organ (usually the intestine or stomach) when it pushes against a weak spot in the muscle wall that encloses it. It occurs when straining exerts pressure on the weak region such as while lifting heavy objects, having a bowel movement, chronic cough or being obese. Other causes may include an enlarged prostate, poor nutrition, a previous surgical incision (incisional hernia) or when the muscles around the navel do not close at birth. Hernias are common in the abdomen (ventral hernia), belly button (umbilical hernia), at the junction where the esophagus (food pipe) enters the stomach (hiatal hernia) and groin (inguinal hernia).
Surgery is the treatment of choice for hernias.