Hernias After Surgery

Recovery after abdominal surgery can have an unwelcome surprise, the creation of an incisional, or ventral, hernia. This type of hernia can develop after abdominal surgery when part of an internal organ or abdominal tissue protrudes through the abdominal wall.

Although most incisional hernias don’t lead to serious health problems, complications can occur.

Dr. Jacob can correct incisional hernias using laparoscopic surgery.

What is an incisional hernia?

An incisional hernia is the protrusion of abdominal tissue or parts of organs through the abdominal wall. They usually appear along, or close to, the surgical scar on the abdomen.

The time when this type of hernia may develop is anything from a couple weeks after surgery to even years afterwards. You can notice these hernias as a lump close to the abdominal scar. It’s especially the case when the person is coughing or otherwise straining the abdomen.

If the ventral hernia stays small, isn’t causing the person any issues, and has a low chance of causing complications, surgery may not be necessary. But if these hernias get larger over time, they can be more serious and challenging to surgically repair. In rare cases, the blood supply can become cut off to the protruding abdominal tissue. This is a medical emergency.

Symptoms of an incisional hernia

If you’ve had abdominal surgery and then notice any of these symptoms it could be a ventral hernia:

  • A bulge near the old incision
  • Sharp pain and discomfort when straining and lifting, which improves as the person rests
  • Aching, burning, or gurgling sensations

Incisional hernias most commonly occur on vertical incisions

Why does this happen?

Incisional hernias can develop after abdominal surgery. In most cases, the abdominal wall heals well after surgery. But in some cases, a cut in the abdominal wall does not heal as tightly as it should. This means the abdominal wall is weaker around the area of scarring and is unable to stay intact against the pressure of the abdomen. Abdominal tissue, intestines, or organs may push through the weakened area and protrude.

According to research, there is about a 1 in 3 chance of developing an incisional hernia after a person has abdominal surgery.

Dr. Jacob can repair these hernias using laparoscopic methods in most cases. This enables him to avoid the need to make a long incision. After all, that incision was the cause of the incisional hernia.

Do you have a hernia? Dr. Jacob is one of the nation’s foremost hernia surgeons. Please give him a call at (212) 879-6677 to schedule a consultation.

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