What is incisional hernia?
After undergoing abdominal surgery, the hernia that appears usually occurs along the vertical incision, which is called incisional hernia. Some people are more likely to suffer from this hernia after abdominal surgery, such as people who have the following conditions:
- Old age
- Long-term use of steroids
- Lung problem after surgery, causing chronic cough
- Wound infection after surgery, or receiving surgery more than one time at the same incision
- Inadequate wound stitching
Incisional hernia can be very large and painful, so be sure to discuss treatment options with the original surgeon.
What causes incisional hernia?
Abdominal surgery sometimes leaves a defect in the abdominal wall, and hernia may occur from this weak spot. 2%-10% of patients will have incisional hernia after receiv-ing abdominal wall surgery, and some people have a higher chance of getting hernia. It is possible for incisional hernia to recur even after repair by surgery.
When the wound heals, there may be problems with healing due to inflammation, he-matoma, and seroma, which may cause incisional hernia.
The following conditions can cause the abdominal cavity to pressurize and also cause incisional hernia:
- Coughing due to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and other diseases
- Long-term overexerted force on the abdomen due to constipation
Of course, the surgeon’s poor technique may also cause incisional hernia.
What are the symptoms of incisional hernia?
In general, the symptoms of incisional hernia will exacerbate when standing, sitting or lifting things for a long time.
Patients with incisional hernia will usually feel:
- Bulging feeling
- Pain in the hernia area or long-term pain
- Presence of something in the incision area
How to diagnose incisional hernia?
- In the diagnosis of incisional hernia, it is necessary to observe the symptoms and medi-cal history of the patient.
- Pay special attention to the postoperative medical records of previous operations.
- The doctor should observe the level of the patient’s pain and discomfort, and whether the hernia is larger than before.
- Touch the affected part with the doctor’s hand, find the lump, and check whether the hernial sac of patient gets bigger when coughing, exerting force or bending over.
- If the diagnosis is undefined, ultrasound or computerized tomography scan in the spe-cial case can be performed, showing the size and detailed information of the hernia.
How to treat incisional hernia?
Surgery should be performed to repair recurrent hernia and prevent the hernia from get-ting bigger. However, the success rate of repairing hernia will decrease every time there is a recurrence.
The Taipei Hernia Center has extensive experience in repairing incisional hernia. We use certain surgical methods to ensure that incisional hernia does not recur.