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Home > Patient & Family Resources > Health Library > Incarcerated hernia
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An incarcerated hernia is a part of the intestine or abdominal tissue that becomes trapped in the sac of a hernia—the bulge of soft tissue that pushes through a weak spot in the abdominal wall.
If part of the intestine is trapped, stool may not be able to pass through the intestine. This may cause pain, nausea, vomiting, and abdominal swelling (distension).
The loop of intestine can swell and become tightly trapped (strangulated) in the hernia, which causes the tissue to die (gangrene). If the intestine becomes strangulated, immediate surgery is needed.
Current as of: February 10, 2021
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:E. Gregory Thompson MD - Internal Medicine & Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & Kenneth Bark MD - General Surgery, Colon and Rectal Surgery
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