A hernia occurs when an organ pushes through an opening in the muscle or tissue that holds it in place. For example, the intestines may break through a weakened area in the abdominal wall. Many hernias occur in the abdomen between your chest and hips, but they can also appear in the upper thigh and groin areas. Most hernias aren’t immediately life-threatening, but they don’t go away on their own. Sometimes they can require surgery to prevent dangerous complications. The most common symptom of a hernia is a bulge or lump in the affected area. For example, in the case of an inguinal hernia, you may notice a lump on either side of your pubic bone where your groin and thigh meet. You may find that the lump disappears when you’re lying down. You’re more likely to feel your hernia through touch when you’re standing up, bending down, or coughing. Discomfort or pain in the area around the lump may also be present. Some types of hernia, such as Hiatal hernias, can have more specific symptoms. These can include things like heartburn, trouble swallowing, and chest pain. In many cases, hernias have no symptoms. You may not know you have a hernia unless it shows up during a routine physical or a medical exam for an unrelated problem.