What causes an indirect inguinal abdominal hernia?

Updated: Jul 01, 2021
  • Author: Assar A Rather, MBBS, MD, FACS; Chief Editor: John Geibel, MD, MSc, DSc, AGAF  more...
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The etiology of indirect hernias is largely explainable in terms of the embryology of the groin and of testicular descent. An indirect inguinal hernia is a congenital hernia, regardless of the patient’s age. It occurs because of protrusion of an abdominal viscus into an open processus vaginalis. The following terms are employed:

  • If the processus contains viscera, the patient has an indirect inguinal hernia
  • If peritoneal fluid fluxes between the space and the peritoneum, the patient has a communicating hydrocele
  • If fluid accumulates in the scrotum or spermatic cord without exchange of fluid with the peritoneum, the patient has a noncommunicating scrotal hydrocele or a hydrocele of the cord; in a girl, fluid accumulation in the processus results in a hydrocele of the canal of Nuck

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