An incisional hernia is a type of hernia caused by an unhealed surgical wound in the abdomen. Since incisions in the abdominal wall are frequent for abdominal surgery, abdominal incisional hernias are often also classified as ‘ventral hernias’ due to their location. After abdominal surgery, the tissues around incision scars weaken and allowing the intestinal loops to pop out through the abdomen wall easily.
Depending on the nature of past surgery, up to 15 out of 100 people develop an incisional hernia after having abdominal surgery mostly within the first year.
However, not all ventral hernias are from incisions, as some may be caused by other trauma or congenital problems. Overweight people are also more prone to incisional hernias due to the pressure and strain caused by the body fat over the scar tissues.
- In females the incisional hernia are commonly seen in scar of caesarean section
Signs and Symptoms
Symptoms of a incisional hernia include:
- A bulgy lump near an old surgical incision, mostly along a vertical straight incision on the abdomen
- Discomfort or severe pain while straining, lifting, or exercising
- A burning, gurgling, or aching feeling at the bulge
- Feeling of obstructions or blockages in the intestine
Incisional Hernia Repair
Laparoscopic Incisional Hernia Repair
- This surgery is usually performed under general anaesthesia unless a patient has some exceptional condition.
- Three tiny incisions are made around the hernial growth to insert the laparoscopic camera and necessary operating tools.
- The hernia sac is pushed back into the cavity, and the weakened opening in the wall is strengthened with a synthetic mesh.
Open Incisional Hernia Surgery
- Open surgery involves a large incision (up to three inches) to be made over the hernial site and hence, is performed under general anaesthesia or spinal anaesthesia
- The surgeon makes a necessary length of the incision over the abdominal wall.
- The contents of the hernial sac are appropriately pushed back inside its membrane wall, and the muscles around the weak spot are sewed closed with sutures.
- A synthetic mesh is then placed over the sewed portion to fortify it, and the exterior incision is closed.