Ventral Hernias

Hernias are named after the location where they occur. For instance, and umbilical hernia occurs in or near the belly button. A ventral hernia occurs in the abdominal wall, as the word ventral refers to the abdomen. Ventral hernias occur along the vertical center of the abdominal wall. They are also called incisional hernias, as they often occur at the site of a former abdominal surgery.

Dr. Jacob uses laparoscopic surgery to repair ventral hernias.

What Is a Ventral Hernia?

Whenever a hole develops in the muscles of the abdominal wall, allowing other tissues from the abdominal cavity to push through, this is a ventral hernia. There are three types of ventral hernia:

  • Umbilical hernia — As mentioned above, these occur in or near the belly button.
  • Epigastric hernia — These can occur anywhere from the belly button up to just below the breastbone.
  • Incisional hernia — These hernias develop at a weakness caused by a previous surgery. It’s estimated that up to one in three patients who have had abdominal surgery will develop an incisional hernia at the site of their scar.

How Would I Know I Have a Ventral Hernia?

Some patients won’t have any symptoms, at least not at first. Others will have pain in the area of the hernia. This pain will worsen when standing erect or lifting moderate to heavy objects. Patients often can see or feel a bulge at the site of the hernia.

These are symptoms that would merit a call to NYC Hernia and Dr. Jacob:

  • Mild discomfort in the abdominal area
  • Acute pain in the abdomen
  • Outward bulging of skin or other tissues in the abdominal area
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting

If a ventral hernia becomes strangulated, intestinal tissue gets pinched within the opening in the abdominal wall. The tissue cannot be manually pushed back into the abdominal cavity, and its blood supply is cut off. This becomes an emergency situation.

Treatment

Ventral hernias require surgery to correct the problem. They will not heal on their own but will grow slowly. If this is allowed to progress, the ventral hernia becomes more difficult to correct.

Dr. Jacob is usually able to use laparoscopic methods for these hernia surgeries. This makes for faster recovery times and less pain. Plus, the lack of a long incision reduces the patient’s chance for developing another ventral hernia at the site in the future.

Do you have symptoms of a hernia? Please give Dr. Jacob a call at NYC Hernia, (212) 879-6677, to schedule an appointment.

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