Difference Between Direct and Indirect Inguinal Hernia

Hernia features an internal organ protruding through the weak tissues surrounding it. A person may develop four types of hernias, out of which inguinal hernia is the most common one in men. It could be direct or indirect and has differences based on its anatomical location and how it was formed. So, let’s look at some essential differences between direct and indirect inguinal hernia to get a clear picture of both.

What is Direct Hernia?

A direct hernia develops over a while and weakens the abdominal muscles. It is common in males. Women have a small inguinal canal and have a barrier along the canal. Hence, they are at a lesser risk of developing inguinal hernia. Some common causes of direct inguinal hernia include aging and stress. However, past surgery in the lower abdomen can also weaken the muscles around the inguinal canal.

What is Indirect Hernia?

While the fetus is still inside the mother’s womb, an opening on the inguinal canal closing before birth. When the canal fails to close fully by the time of the birth, it causes a portion of fat or intestine to slip through and result in an indirect hernia.

In women, the ovaries and other organs of the reproductive system can slide through the opening and cause a hernia. However, indirect hernias also are more common in males than females, although yes, the latter also remain at a certain level of risk.

Other causes of indirect hernia include smoking, being overweight, heavy lifting and constipation and strain with bowel movements.

Difference Between Direct and Indirect Inguinal Hernia

Let’s now look at a few vital differences between direct and indirect inguinal hernia.

Direct Inguinal HerniaIndirect Inguinal Hernia
It bulges from the inguinal canal’s posterior wall.It passes via the inguinal canal.
It is common in aged people.Children and young adults are more susceptible to indirect inguinal hernia.
It looks like a circular and symmetric swelling at the outside ring.The appearance is like an elliptical swelling.
It cannot descend into the scrotum.It can descend into the scrotum.
Aging, stress or lifting heavy objects may cause direct inguinal hernia.Indirect inguinal hernia may be congenital.
Appears immediately on standing and disappears instantly after lying down.Indirect one takes time to reach its full size upon standing and also takes time to fully retract after lying down.
One cannot control reduction.Reduction can be controlled by pressure on the internal ring.
After reduction, the protrusion is seen where it was before.After reduction, the bulge is seen in the middle of the inguinal region prior to turning to the scrotum.
The patient may feel it in the abdominal wall.It cannot be apparently seen as it is behind the external muscle’s fibers.

Are you looking for specific information on direct and indirect inguinal hernia, its causes, diagnosis and treatment? Visit Ranka Hospital. Our doctors will diagnose your condition, identify the right treatment and answer all your questions. Call us at 020 – 24261528 to book an appointment with our doctors.

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