A hernia is when part of the abdominal contents protrudes through the abdominal wall. Hernias are very common, especially groin (inguinal) hernias in men. Many people feel that they have caused the hernia themselves by lifting and straining, but in reality the hernia was probably likely to have already been there some time, so was going to happen anyway.
The commonest types of hernia are groin hernias (inguinal and femoral) and umbilical hernias (in the belly button). Less common hernias include spegelian hernias and incisional hernias. An incisional hernia occurs at the site of a previous surgical incision, such as at the site of a previous appendicectomy or laparotomy incision.
Hernias can be fixed by both open and keyhole (laparoscopic) surgery. There are pros and cons of both methods, but guidelines have been published (http://www.britishherniasociety.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/iipp_-_groin_hernia_guidelines_as_gone_to_press_-4.pdf) and the most appropriate method for you can be discussed at the time of your consultation.