A hernia most often develops in the abdomen when a weakness in the abdominal wall develops into a localized opening or “defect” through which adipose tissue or the abdominal organs covered by the peritoneum can protrude.
Risk factors for developing a hernia include, but are not limited to smoking, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, obesity, pregnancy, peritoneal dialysis, collagen vascular disease, and previous open appendectomy (surgical removal of an inflamed appendix). The hernia is partly of genetic origin and is therefore more common in some families.
In most cases, the hernia can be diagnosed based on the symptoms. However, a medical imaging procedure may be used to confirm the diagnosis or rule out other possible causes.