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What Are the Most Common Symptoms of a Double Hernia?

An ice pack, which can help with a double hernia.
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  • Written By: Judith Smith Sullivan
  • Edited By: Susan Barwick
  • Last Modified Date: 14 July 2014
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Symptoms for a double hernia usually include two bulges or swollen areas near the groin, pressure or a heavy feeling, and pain. This condition, also called a bilateral hernia, is the simultaneous occurrence of two hernias, typically in the inguinal canal or upper thigh near the femoral artery. A hernia is an eruption of weakened tissue, followed by an intrusion of the intestines into another part of the body. In severe cases, an inguinal hernia may descend into the scrotum, causing pressure on the testes.

Occasionally, a person with a double hernia shows no symptoms, and this condition is not always painful. If the hernias are quite small, there might not be any swelling or bulges. Sometimes a bulge is only visible when the person is standing, lifting a heavy object or coughing.

When a bulge is apparent, it is typically reducible. In other words, it can be pressed back into the abdomen when the individual is sitting or lying down. If it is swollen, it may require the application of an ice pack before it will slip back into the abdominal cavity.

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An irreducible bulge cannot be pressed back into the abdomen. A painful, irreducible bulge normally indicates that the hernia is incarcerated, or trapped. An incarcerated hernia can be deprived of oxygen, which leads to a serious problem called strangulation. Symptoms of hernia strangulation include discoloration of the hernia bulge, nausea, vomiting, fever, rapid heart rate and sudden pain. This is an emergency situation and must receive immediate medical attention.

Although a double hernia can occur in both men and women, it is more common in men since men have a larger inguinal wall. If a person has developed an inguinal or femoral hernia, their chances of developing multiple hernias increases. The risk of developing a inguinal hernia also goes up if an individual has a chronic cough, chronic constipation or a family or personal history of hernias. Premature newborn infants are also at risk for hernias.

Surgery is the only recommended treatment for hernias. There are two types: herniorrhaphy and laparoscopy. Herniorrhaphy is an open surgery in which the descended intestines are pushed back into the abdomen and the tear repaired with mesh and stitches. A laparoscopy requires several small incisions and the insertion of a small camera and tools through a tube into the abdomen. The surgeon uses the camera as a guide to repair the hernia.

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Discuss this Article

pleonasm
Post 2

The only good thing I can see about having a double hernia surgery is that from what I've heard, once you've had a hernia in one place, you can never have it in that place again.

I've also heard that they are more common in people who were quite overweight and then started to lose weight. I guess because the tissue in that area becomes thinner and more stressed.

I guess the risk of that gets lower if you make sure to do crunches and things to build up your stomach area, but I'm not sure.

Of course, the other thing you should do to avoid getting hernias is to make sure you bend at the knees when you are picking up something heavy!

indigomoth
Post 1

My father had a hernia that he didn't treat for months. I remember he looked like he had an "outie" belly button, but I didn't realize at the time that it was a symptom of this.

It wasn't until my mother finally convinced him to have the hernia repair surgery done that I even knew about it.

It makes me a bit angry thinking about it now. He could have easily done himself harm, with an incarcerated hernia or getting a double hernia, but he was too worried about the idea of a doctor cutting into him to care.

I'm just glad my mother had the sense to make him go to the doctor. It's always better to get these things over and done with, before they get worse and you get into real health trouble.

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