Incisional Hernias

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Incisional Hernias - FAQs

Who treats an incisional hernia?

A general surgeon or a plastic surgeon treats Incisional hernia.

Who gets an incisional hernia?

Incisional Hernias can occur in anyone who has an incision, most commonly an incision through the abdominal wall. It represents a failure of the layer that gives strength to the abdominal wall (the fascia) to heal.

Can an Incisional hernia go away by itself?

No. Once a hernia has developed it will not go away. In fact it will get worse with time. The constant pressure on the area makes the hernia get bigger. This leads to more frequent, more intense and longer periods of discomfort.

Is it related to work?

It is likely that all Incisional hernias do not result from work, since many factors can lead to a hernia. However, it is impossible to say with certainly that the hernia is not from, work if you did not have one when you started your job. Furthermore, even if other factors were involved in the development of your hernia, lifting could have contributed. Therefore, all hernias are usually treated as worker’s compensation injuries.

Are there any tests I need to undergo to confirm I have an Incisional hernia?

No. Physical exam and history are the two best ways to diagnose an Incisional hernia. Fortunately, or unfortunately, there is no test, including a CT scan and MRI, that is better than your history and a physical examination. The reason it is unfortunate is that occasionally there are patients with a history that may indicate a hernia but none can be detected on physical exam. These patients may require a surgical exploration of the area to exclude a hernia, as a last resort.

What can I do before surgery to feel better?

Limiting your activity and any lifting may offer temporary relief. You should avoid exercise, especially any that places strain on the anterior abdominal wall muscles. A truss may also offer temporary relief but should not be used for a long time.

Do all surgeons perform both the laparoscopic and open approaches?

No. All surgeons perform the open approach but only some surgeons perform the laparoscopic approach.

Is there any treatment for an Incisional hernia other than surgery?

An abdominal corset maybe used to keep the hernia reduced during the daytime. For smaller hernia a truss maybe used. However this is only a temporary solution.

A truss is a belt with a large pad on it that applies pressure to the site of the hernia with the aim of keeping the bulge from popping out. Overall, a truss is not a good idea even though it may at times work. The truss does nothing to repair the hernia. It just minimizes symptoms by preventing significant herniation through the defect in the abdominal wall. As a result, the hernia will continue to get larger. In addition, there will be scar tissue formed that provides no strength to the area. Both of these factors, enlargement of the hernia and scarring, make the surgical repair of the hernia more difficult and later recurrence more likely. Therefore, a truss should only be used as a short-term measure until surgery can be performed.

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i am 54 years lady at present i have an incisional Hernia, 4 years back i had undergone operation uterus removing whether immediate surgery is required but i don't have any pain


10 days Post op from ingiunal repair recurrence and femoral hernia repair (same side). Cement Twinkie at the surgery site. Anyone? I am a 42 y/o female.


My 73 yr old mother needs umbilical hernia repair. Skeptical about medical procedures, she is put it off til it is bigger. Does not like idea of Biologic implants. What is safest mesh material to use? Or, in general, which mesh material has the least complications / lawsuits ? Polypropylene, polyester,...what ? Thank you for any anticipated answer.


I am scheduled to have a rather large Incisional Hernia repaired, because it is such a large hernia my surgeon has recommended using MESH. I have heard a lot of negative things regarding MESH and do not know which Mesh would be the safest to use. Do you have some suggestions on which MESH would be best?
I did express my concerns to my surgeon but there was no recommendation. Also I was told that if you could have a Cosmetic Surgeon join in with your Surgeon you may have much better results. Is this true?


Hi also had umbilical hernia repair surgery 2 months ago and am experiencing burning sensation and pain around the incision. I am passing gas frequently and feel tired often. Have had issues with bloating and pain in the upper part of my stomach for some time and have been told there may be some adhesions. Its just a pity the Doctors do not tell you much about the recovery process and they make you think the surgery is just a simple procedure.

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