A hernia looks like a lump under the skin. It can be different sizes.

When it’s a hernia

  • The lump is in your groin, tummy area or thigh
  • The lump often goes away when you lie down, especially at first
  • The lump often appears when you cough or strain
  • You can push the lump back in
  • You feel a heaviness in your groin

If you think you have a hernia, speak to a GP.

What does a hernia look like?


Upper thigh

Tummy area


Different types of hernia and causes

Your hernia treatment

Your GP will confirm if your lump is a hernia and discuss how it can be treated.

You’ll need an operation to repair your hernia. You may not need one straight away - it depends on the the type of hernia and if it’s causing you problems. Your hernia may get bigger if it’s not treated, although this could take months or even years.

Hernia surgery

You should be able to have a hernia operation within 18 weeks of your GP appointment.

You’ll need to have some appointments before you have your hernia operation.

See a GP now or go to A&E

If you have a hernia and:

  • it feels hot
  • it’s hard and tender
  • it’s suddenly painful
  • you have a fever
  • you have blood in your poo

This could mean you have a strangulated hernia.

Strangulated hernia - If the muscle tightens around a hernia it can cut off the blood supply. This is a strangulated hernia. You’ll need emergency surgery to treat it.