If you’ve ever burst out of a corset you’ll understand what a hernia is like. In the abdominal wall there is a set of muscles that act a bit like a corset, keeping the bodies internal organs in place. When a weakness occurs in these muscles a section of the intestines pokes out under the skin, providing endless opportunities for tricks in the pub. Whilst an ordinary hernia provides only mild discomfort, there is a danger that they can become strangulated, which is when the blood supply is cut off. This requires surgery, so any hernia should be checked out by your GP. Hernia operations are the most common operation performed by the NHS in the UK, and heavy lifting, coughing or sport most frequently causes them. They can also occur in childbirth, which considering the amount of straining involved, is hardly surprising.
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