MEHAU KULYK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY MEHAU KULYK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Inguinal hernia. Coloured barium X-ray of a left inguinal (groin) hernia (small white protrusion, lower right) in a man's large intestine. Barium (red & white) has pooled in the intestine. A hernia, or rupture, is a protrusion of an organ or tissue through the wall of the body cavity in which it lies. In an inguinal hernia, part of the large intestine pushes into the inguinal canal, the passage that connects the abdominal cavity to the scrotum in a man, resulting in a bulge in the groin or scrotum. This hernia may have been caused by physical straining or even coughing. Treatment is with surgery. Enemas of radio-opaque barium allow the large intestine to be seen on X-ray.
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