Incisional hernia occurs when the hernia protrudes through an incision made on the patient’s abdominal wall (old scar) from a previous surgical procedure. In this medical condition, internal organs (such as, the intestine) can herniate or protrude out from the abdomen, causing discomfort and a big bulge in the abdomen, especially on coughing. Pain or gangrene of the bowel can arise from an incisional hernia, which will require emergency surgery.
Some of the common causes of incisional hernia include:
A previous history of abdominal surgery is the most important risk factor that may lead to an incisional hernia. Other risk factors may include:
The most common signs and symptoms may include discomfort and bulging near the abdominal incision. The early signs and symptoms include:
The following are considered as signs and symptoms that require emergency surgery:
Once a swelling, visible protrusion, or bulge is located, your doctor may suggest following tests:
While diagnosing the incisional hernia, your surgeon may schedule a further surgery to repair an incisional hernia (also medically termed as ventral hernia repair).
An incisional hernia, in general, cannot be treated or repaired by using medications. In most cases, your doctor may suggest surgery as the only viable option for treating this condition. Surgery is recommended in the following situations:
The surgery may be carried out by using either via the laparoscopic method or open method under anesthesia. During the surgery, the surgeon will put the hernia back to its original position. The defect will be covered using a hernia’s mesh, thereby repairing the hernia.
If you are also affected with an incisional hernia, check with incisional hernia specialist immediately to discuss the treatment options!
Senior Consultant Surgeon
MBBS (Singapore), FRCS (Edinburgh), MMed (Surgery), MSc (Bioinformatics),
FAMS (General Surgery)
With 20 years of surgical experience, Dr Lee is trained and skilled in using minimally invasive techniques for liver, pancreas, gallbladder and hernia procedures.
His busy practice aside, Dr Lee is actively involved in postgraduate teaching and workshops for junior surgeons, and is still actively involved in academic research at the National University of Singapore.
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