DR P. MARAZZI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DR P. MARAZZI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Inguinal hernia. The distended lower abdomen in a 75-year-old woman with bilateral inguinal hernia. A hernia is the protrusion of an organ or tissue through a rupture in the wall of a body cavity. Inguinal hernia occurs when a sac of peritoneum (the membrane surrounding abdominal organs) containing a loop of the intestines bulges through the lower abdominal wall into the inguinal area (the groin). This type of hernia is most common in men and may result from physical straining or even coughing. The best treatment is surgical repair.
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