Difference between hernia and appendix

Difference Between Hernia And Appendix

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Whether you have a hernia or appendicitis, the main symptom you will experience is stomach pain. So, it might be confusing for you to understand what the cause of the pain is.

Most people don’t know the distinctions between a hernia and appendicitis and often confuse their symptoms with each other.

So, in this article, we are going to look into both hernia and appendicitis and understand the difference between them. This will help you understand each issue in detail and help you recognize them when you experience the symptoms.

What Are the Key Differences Between Hernia and Appendix?

It is important to understand the differences between these two conditions to undergo the right treatments to cure the issue. Now, let’s look at the definition, symptoms, and causes of appendicitis and hernia.

DefinitionBulging of an internal organ or tissue through a weak muscle or tissue wallInflammation of the appendix, a small tube-like organ in the lower-right abdomen
SymptomsBulge in affected area (especially when straining, coughing, or laughing), abdominal pain, discomfort, swellingPain in lower-right abdomen (may start around belly button), worsening pain with movement, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, constipation/diarrhea, bloating, gas, low fever
CausesWeak spot in muscle wall, injury, heavy lifting, pregnancy, genetics, obesity, chronic coughing/sneezingBlockage in appendix lining, appendix stones, colitis
LocationVaries depending on type of hernia (most common: inguinal – groin, hiatal – upper stomach)Lower-right abdomen
TreatmentSurgery to repair weak spot and return organ/tissue to proper positionSurgery to remove appendix (appendectomy)
UrgencyNot always an emergency unless strangulation occursRequires immediate medical attention and surgery
ConnectionMcBurney’s hernia and Amyand’s hernia can involve presence of appendix in hernia sacIn most cases, not directly related


An appendix is a small tube-like organ that is located on the lower-right side of your abdomen. It is a protrusion (about 3–4 inches long) that is attached to the end of your large intestine.

The appendix is not necessarily essential for survival, and people can live on even without it. Though it is not an essential organ in the body, it can cause to immense pain if it gets inflamed or infected. This condition is called appendicitis (inflammation of the appendix).

You must immediately consult a doctor and undergo the necessary medical treatment to rectify the situation before it leads to other medical issues.

What are the symptoms of the Appendix?

The main symptom you might experience when you have appendicitis is pain in the lower right abdominal area. For some people, the pain might start around the belly button and then move to the lower right abdomen.

Below are some other symptoms you might experience if you were diagnosed with appendicitis.

  • Worsening abdominal pain every time you sneeze, cough, walk, or make any sudden movements.
  • Nausea, vomiting, and loss of appetite
  • Constipation and diarrhea
  • Bloating and gas
  • Low fever that might rise if the situation worsens.

What are the causes of the Appendix?

Now that we have discussed the symptoms of appendicitis, let’s look at its causes.

  • Blockage in the appendix lining. This can cause a bacterial infection, causing the appendix to swell and be filled with pus. The appendix might burst and cause serious complications if it is not treated immediately.
  • Hardened poop (appendix stones). These are hard, calcified fecal deposits stuck in the appendix opening. They carry bacteria that can infect the appendix.
  • Colitis, an inflammation in the colon, can affect the appendix. The infection may spread to the appendix, or it might irritate the appendix.


A hernia happens when an internal organ or tissue bulges through a tissue wall or weak muscle in the body. They are usually a result of injury, heavy lifting, pregnancy, genetics, obesity, etc.

There are various types of hernias based on the location of the issue, but the most common hernias are

  • inguinal hernia (hernia in the groin areas) and
  • hiatal hernia (hernia in the upper stomach).

What are the symptoms of Hernia?

The most common symptom of hernia is a visible bulge you can see around the affected area. This bulge usually appears when you laugh, cough, or do some physical activity and disappears after. Other symptoms include abdominal pain, discomfort, swelling, etc.

What are the causes of Hernia?

Below are some of the major causes and risk factors of hernia. It is essential to know these factors so that you can Prevent Hernia from Occurring

  • If you have a weak spot or a pre-existing opening in your body that allows nearby tissue or organ to push through the opening.
  • A traumatic injury can weaken the muscle and let the organ pass through.
  • If you put too much pressure on your abdomen. This can weaken your tissues.
  • Chronic coughing or sneezing can weaken the tissues and muscles, leading to hernias.

Is there any connection Between Hernia And Appendix

There can be a few surprising connections between hernias and the appendix, although they aren’t always directly related

McBurney’s hernia:

the appendix can be present within a femoral hernia, a type of hernia that occurs in the groin near the thigh. This condition is known as McBurney’s hernia

Amyand’s Hernia:

This rare condition involves the appendix being present within the sac of an inguinal hernia (in the groin). While the appendix is normally located in the lower right abdomen, it can accidentally become trapped during hernia formation.

In most cases, the appendix in an Amyand’s hernia is healthy, but it can also be inflamed or even perforated, leading to serious complications.


It is quite common for you to get confused between appendicitis and hernia. It is best to look for the Best Hernia Surgeon to diagnose which one you have and take the right treatments for the issue.

Both conditions can be treated, and you can fully recover from them. So, visit your doctor as early as you start experiencing the symptoms and undergo the necessary treatments.


Yes, though uncommon, hernias can sometimes be mistaken for pericecal hernias. Pericecal hernias mimic the symptoms of appendicitis during its early stages, so people often confuse it with appendicitis.

Appendicitis typically begins with pain in the center of your stomach (abdomen). Within hours, the pain spreads to your lower right side, where the appendix is normally found, and becomes persistent and intense.

Pressing on this area, coughing, or walking may aggravate the pain. This is how you can know if your appendix is affected.

If you have appendicitis, pressing your lower right belly button will worsen your pain. If your appendix has ruptured, touching your stomach may cause severe discomfort and cause you to tighten your muscles. Tenderness on the right side of your rectum may be discovered during a rectal exam.

Dr. K. Amilthan MBBS., MS., FMAS., FALS.

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Dr. Amilthan
Dr. Amilthan

Dr. Amilthan is a renowned laparoscopic hernia surgeon based in Chennai, with over 20 years of experience in general surgery. He completed his MBBS and MS in General Surgery at Kilpauk Medical College and Government Royapettah Hospital in Chennai.

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