A ventral hernia is a defect in the abdominal muscular wall. Depending on the size, location and history, hernias can range from simple to complex. Risk factors include increased abdominal pressure due to chronic coughing, straining, intense physical
labor, recent surgery or pregnancy.
A ventral incisional hernia describes a hernia at the site of a surgical incision. Typically occurring at the front of the abdomen, ventral incisional hernias can vary in size from small to gigantic. Nonetheless, this type of hernia does not heal
on its own and requires surgical treatment to reduce the protruding tissue back and close the hernia defect.
Symptoms may include:
- A bulge at or near an old surgical incision
- Pain in the abdomen when coughing, lifting, or exercising
- A burning sensation at the site of the bulge
- Redness, pain, or hardening of the hernia
Treating this type of hernia can include limiting physical activity, wearing abdominal binders and taking over-the-counter medications if necessary for pain control. However, the hernia itself will not heal on its own without surgery. Hernias are
often diagnosed with a thorough history and physical examination alone. Depending on the nature and complexity of the hernia defect, a CT scan can be helpful in planning procedures. Depending on the complexity of hernia, a wide array of techniques,
such as non-mesh repairs to abdominal wall reconstructive procedures, are available. Many of these procedures can be performed with laparoscopic or robotic surgery.