Have you recently noticed a lump or a bulge in the area of a previous surgical scar? Chances are you have what’s called an Incisional Hernia. Incisional hernias can occur in up to 50% of surgical incisions. Both open and laparoscopic surgical procedures can result in incisional hernias afterwards. Below is some need-to-know information on Incisional Hernias.
What is an Incisional Hernia?
A hernia is a hole or gap in the muscles of the abdominal wall. In incisional hernias, this hole or gap forms underneath the scar from a previous surgery. After surgery, the tissues around your scars are weakened, causing an increased risk in the formation of incisional hernias. Incisional hernias may increase over time.
Incisional Hernia Symptoms
If you have an incisional hernia the first thing you may notice is a lump or a bulge in the area of your previous surgical scar. This may be associated with pain, especially in situations of physical strain such as coughing or heavy lifting. Sometimes the bulge may disappear when you are lying down and become more visible when standing up. If you start experiencing nausea, vomiting or are unable to have a bowel movement then this may indicate that a part of your intestine has become stuck inside the hernia and you need to seek medical attention immediately.
How are Incisional Hernias diagnosed?
Most of the time an incisional hernia can be diagnosed on physical examination by an experienced surgeon. Smaller hernias, or hernias in obese patients may be more difficult to diagnose with physical examination alone. In these situations a CT Scan may help to make the diagnosis of an incisional hernia.
Treatment of Incisional Hernias
The only way to fix an incisional hernia is with surgical repair. Incisional hernia surgery can be done using an open or laparoscopic approach. Laparoscopic surgery is associated with fewer incisions and a faster recovery, however not everyone is a candidate for this procedure. In most cases, a mesh will be used during repair of an incisional hernia. Incisional hernia repair with mesh reduces the likelihood that the hernia will return to less than 5%.
Dr. Zadeh is an expert in Incisional Hernia Surgery in the Encino and Greater Los Angeles areas. Dr. Zadeh performs both open and minimally invasive incisional hernia repair. To find out which type of incisional hernia surgery is right for you, please contact our office at (818) 789-1111