Understanding an Incisional Hernia

What You Need To Know About An Incisional Hernia

This is the scar that forms on one's abdomen after going through a surgical operation. The procedure is performed to allow the doctor to reach the patient's internal organs like the appendix, or during a caesarean section. After the operation, the surgeon will seal of the abdominal wall by stitching the area. An incisional hernia arises when the tissues in a person's stomach protrude through the stomach's muscle. As a result, the affected person will have a painful bulge under their abdominal skin.

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When You Have An Incisional Hernia

What Are The Risk Factors For Incisional Hernias?

If a person has undergone several abdominal surgeries, they stand a high chance of getting an incisional hernia. A hernia that forms in the abdomen of people who have not had gone through surgery is not considered an incisional hernia.

Patients who put on excess weight, or get pregnant, or engage in heavy activities after going through an abdominal surgery stand a high risk of getting an incisional hernia.

A person is also highly capable of getting a hernia when they are still healing. Although incisional hernias may form months or even years after an abdominal surgery, they commonly develop 3-6 months following a surgical operation.

How is an Incisional Hernia Diagnosed?

Incisional hernias at times appear then disappear, a condition called a "reducible" hernia. This type of hernia becomes visible when a patient engages in activity that exerts pressure on their abdomen like sneezing, coughing, and lifting heavy objects. When the hernia is visible, it is easier to detect through a physical examination. The physician may ask the patient to cough to get a good visual of the hernia. Testing may be performed for large hernias that cause severe bulging.

Treatment for a Hernia

For mild cases, an object that resembles a girdle or weight belt may be worn to put pressure on the hernia. For serious cases like large hernias or where the hernia gradually increases in size, surgery is the best option. Surgery may also be necessary when the bulging persists even when a person is relaxed, or when a person experiences intense pain.

When Does a Incisional Hernia Pose Great Danger?

A hernia becomes an emergency when the bulging tissue is starved of blood. This is also called a strangulated hernia. If this hernia is left untreated, it can lead to the death of the bulging tissue. A strangulated hernia is easily identified by a purple or deep red bulging tissue. It may also be accompanied by intense pain, abdominal swelling, vomiting, and diarrhea.

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Straight from Dr. Williams