Incarcerated vs. Strangulated Hernia

Incarcerated vs. Strangulated Hernia
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  • 0:03 A Metaphor for Hernias
  • 0:26 What Is a hernia?
  • 0:39 Incarcerated Hernia
  • 1:19 Strangulated Hernia
  • 2:09 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Artem Cheprasov
This lesson defines and delineates the difference between an incarcerated hernia and a strangulated hernia. Using familiar examples, you'll quickly understand the two.

A Metaphor for Hernias

When we think of strangulation and incarceration, we tend to think someone just committed a horrific and violent crime and is now in prison as a result of it. But strangulation and incarceration are actually medical terms as well! Let's discuss incarceration vs. strangulation as they are used with respect to hernias. You'll learn the major difference between the two as a result.

What Is a Hernia?

A hernia is the abnormal protrusion of a tissue or organ through the tissues and structures that normally contain it. This usually happens when something like a piece of intestine protrudes through a small opening, like the inguinal canal.

Incarcerated Hernia

Some hernias can be gently manipulated back into place. In other words, the hernia is reducible. But if a hernia cannot be reduced without surgical intervention, this is known as an incarcerated hernia.

In other words, the tissue that has prolapsed has become stuck like a prisoner in a jail. It can't get out! It's incarcerated. You can't push back the piece of intestine or other tissue with your hands and make the hernia disappear.

You can think of this situation like a Chinese finger trap, where your finger is the protruding tissue and the finger trap is the structure through which the tissue is protruding. You stick your finger into the trap, and the tissue protrudes to create a hernia, but you can't pull it back out.

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