What is a Hernia?
Hernia is an opening formed by the lining of the abdominal cavity. Abdominal wall hernia occurs when the contents of the intestine bulge out of the abdominal wall. Hernias are developed at birth (congenital) or may appear later (acquired).
What is an Incisional Hernia?
An incisional hernia occurs through a scar of any previous surgical incision made in the abdomen and usually develops after many years of surgery. Incisional hernias are usually small and only the peritoneum or tissue layer lining the abdominal cavity protrudes out. It may be associated with pain and discomfort.
Who Gets Incisional Hernias?
Incisional hernias are more common in obese individuals and in pregnant women. The risk is higher in those who have had multiple previous surgeries and those who perform activities that impart more stress on the abdomen.
Treatment of Incisional Hernia
Small hernias that do not cause any symptoms are usually not treated but instead your doctor may follow a wait-and-watch approach.
Surgery is recommended for hernias that show symptoms, are enlarged or entrapped. Surgery may involve an open hernia repair with a larger incision or laparoscopic surgery, a minimally invasive approach with smaller incisions.
It is recommended that using a 'tension free' repair method is beneficial especially for incisional hernia. In treating large hernias, surgeons use a synthetic material called a 'mesh' to close the defect or hole. It is available in various sizes and shapes. It is placed either below or above the defect in the abdominal wall and is held in place with sutures. It provides support to the weakened abdominal wall and incorporated the growth of new tissue. It minimises the tension at the surgical wound and prevents recurrence.