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When an organ within the abdomen pushes out an opening or weak area in the abdomenal or pelvic wall it is called an external hernia. External hernias are common; they create a bulge under the skin that can be seen and felt; whereas, internal hernias do not. Examples of external hernias include umbilical (naval) hernias, femoral hernias, and inguinal (groin) hernias.
Internal hernias are rare and involve part of an organ within the abdomen pushing through an opening in the wall of another organ in the abdomen. These include diaphragmatic hernias (an opening in the diaphragm allows organs to push through) and paraduodenal hernias. Many internal hernias are often not detected until they become painful, incarcerated, or strangled of its blood supply.
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