Also referred to as a ventral, an incisional hernia occurs in the abdominal area at the location of an old scar. Therefore, if you’ve ever had an abdominal hernia or some other surgery in your abdomen area then you’re likely at an increased risk. This is especially the case when infection occurs or the incision didn’t heal properly.
Other risk factors include obesity and being pregnant, as they tend to stretch the abs and make them more prone to tearing at locations of old scar tissue. In many cases, this occurs shortly following surgery when healing hasn’t thorough.
Causes Of Incisional Hernias
Aside from risk factors that increase these chances, incisionsal hernias are caused by the stretching of scar tissue that forms after surgery. Any surgery that involves the abdomen will leave a scar there, regardless of it being a laparoscopic procedure or traditional open surgery. Of course, with an open operation the scar will be larger and thus there’s an even larger chance of having problems down the road. Surgeries that contribute to the chances of a ventral incisional hernia include everything from larger intestinal and vascular surgery to smaller exploratory surgeries and appendix removal. Again, being excessively overweight or pregnant will increase the risk of this occurring; as will constipation along with chronic and intense coughing or anything that would lead to excessive straining.
Symptoms Of An Incisional Hernia
The most obvious symptom of an incisional hernia is a bulge in the abdomen area. The affected area may be irritated and tender but in many cases there may be little to no actual pain felt. The bulge can often be pushed back into place, and a belt or truss can be worn to hold it in place while awaiting surgery. For diagnosis, your doctor will ask for you to cough while he puts light pressure on the area. Often, when coughing or straining the bulge will become more pronounced. This isn’t always the case, however, as strangulated hernias often do not go back in.
Incisional Hernia Repair
Incisional hernias in the abdominals have a much higher incidence of recurrence when repaired with a simple suture technique under tension, so in the vast majority of cases repair is done using a tension free surgical mesh to hold the bulge in place while the incision heals. The mesh is inserted under the abdominals through small laparoscopic incisions around the outer sides of the hernia.