It occurs at the site of a previous surgical incision, where the internal tissues push through the weakened scar tissue.
Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment
An incisional hernia is a type of hernia that develops at the site of a previous surgical incision or scar. It occurs when the tissues or organs beneath the healed incision weaken or separate, causing them to protrude through the abdominal wall.
Incisional hernias are primarily caused by factors that weaken the abdominal wall after surgery, including:
Poor wound healing: Inadequate healing of the surgical incision can lead to weakened tissue.
Surgical site infection: Infections can damage tissues and impair proper healing.
- Excessive strain: Activities that put significant pressure on the surgical site during the healing process can contribute to hernia formation.
- Obesity: Being overweight can place additional stress on the abdominal wall.
- The most common symptom of an incisional hernia is a visible bulge or swelling at the site of the previous surgical incision. Other symptoms may include.
- Discomfort or pain around the hernia, especially during physical activities or when lifting heavy objects.
- The bulge may disappear when lying down and reappear when standing or straining.
- The treatment of an incisional hernia usually involves surgical repair to reinforce the weakened abdominal wall. The surgical options include:
- Open surgery: The hernia is repaired through a larger incision directly over the hernia site.
- Laparoscopic surgery: Minimally invasive surgery using small incisions and a camera to guide the repair.
- The surgical procedure involves returning the protruding tissues or organs to their original position and reinforcing the abdominal wall with sutures or mesh to reduce the risk of recurrence.
- In some cases, if the hernia is small and not causing significant discomfort or health issues, watchful waiting with regular monitoring by a healthcare professional may be considered.
- Prompt medical attention is essential if you suspect you have an incisional hernia or experience sudden severe pain, nausea, vomiting, or if the hernia becomes irreducible (cannot be pushed back in). Early detection and appropriate treatment can help prevent complications and ensure a successful recovery.