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Signs & Symptoms Gastroenterology

Ventral Hernia
Signs and Symptoms

Ventral hernias cause a bulge or lump in the abdomen, which increases in size over time. In some cases, the lump may disappear when you lie down, and then reappear or enlarge when you put pressure on your abdomen, such as when you stand, or lift or push something heavy.

When tissue inside the hernia becomes stuck or trapped in abdominal muscle, it can cause pain, nausea, vomiting and constipation.

In rare cases, this may lead to a potentially life-threatening condition known as "strangulation," which requires emergency surgery. This occurs when the blood supply to the herniated bowel is cut off or greatly reduced, causing the bowel tissue to die or rupture. Other symptoms of a strangulated hernia include severe abdominal pain, profuse sweating, rapid heartbeat, severe nausea, vomiting and high fever.

UCSF Health medical specialists have reviewed this information. It is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of your doctor or other health care provider. We encourage you to discuss any questions or concerns you may have with your provider.

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