Ventral Hernia

What is a Hernia?

Hernias occur when an organ or tissue pushes through a weak spot in the surrounding muscle or connective tissue. While inguinal hernias are the most common type, ventral hernias are prevalent as well, often occurring due to similar risk factors such as aging, obesity, previous surgeries, or abdominal trauma. Read more about hernia surgery here.

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What is a Ventral Hernia?

A ventral hernia occurs when abdominal tissue protrudes through a weak spot in the abdominal wall, resulting in a bulge or swelling. Unlike inguinal hernias, which typically occur in the groin area, ventral hernias can develop anywhere on the abdominal wall.

Causes of Ventral Hernias?

Ventral hernias can develop as a result of various factors, including:

  • Weakness in the abdominal wall due to aging or previous surgeries.
  • Increased abdominal pressure from obesity, pregnancy, heavy lifting, or chronic coughing.
  • Surgical incisions that fail to heal properly or weaken over time.

Open Hernia Surgical Repair:

  • Incision: In open surgical repair, the surgeon makes a single larger incision directly over the hernia site.
  • Hernia Reduction: The protruding tissue or organs are gently pushed back into the abdominal cavity.
  • Mesh Placement: : Synthetic mesh is often used to reinforce the weakened abdominal wall and reduce the risk of recurrence. The mesh may be placed over the hernia defect or underneath the abdominal muscles.
  • Advantages: Open repair allows for direct access to the hernia, making it suitable for larger hernias or cases where the abdominal wall is significantly weakened.
  • Disadvantages: Open repair typically involves a longer recovery time, increased postoperative pain, and a higher risk of complications such as wound infection compared to minimally invasive approaches.

Laparoscopic Hernia Repair

  • Small Incisions: Laparoscopic repair is a minimally invasive approach that involves making several small incisions in the abdomen.
  • Mesh Placement: Synthetic mesh is inserted through one of the incisions and positioned over the hernia defect to reinforce the weakened abdominal wall.
  • Advantages: Laparoscopic repair typically results in less postoperative pain, shorter hospital stays, and quicker recovery compared to open surgery. It also offers excellent cosmetic outcomes due to smaller incisions.
  • Disadvantages: Laparoscopic repair may not be suitable for all patients, especially those with extensive scar tissue or certain medical conditions that increase the risk of complications and carries higher risk of bowel injury.

The choice of repair technique depends on various factors, including the size and location of the hernia, the patient's overall health. Dr Golani will discuss the options with you in your consultation to determine the most appropriate treatment plan.

Recovery from Hernia Surgery

Following paraumbilical and umbilical hernia surgery, patients are advised to:

  • Advantages:Use over-the-counter pain relief medications as needed for discomfort.
  • Refrain from driving for at least five days post-surgery to ensure optimal recovery.
  • Avoid lifting weights exceeding 8kg for the first four weeks, gradually increasing to 15kg over the subsequent four weeks to prevent strain on the surgical site.

Important Points to Remember:

  • No driving for 5 days post-discharge from hospital
  • Your dressings are waterproof so you can shower as normal.
  • Do not sit/soak in a bath for 7 days.
  • Leave your dressings in place for 7 days and can be removed by the yourself
  • Bruising and intermittent pain may continue for a few days
  • Lifting weights may cause complications in your hernia repair. Limit lifting anything heavier than 8kgs for 4 weeks post-surgery. Additionally, you should not lift anything heavier than 15kgs for a further 4 weeks post-surgery
  • Use regular fibre supplement such a Metamucil will help avoid constipation
  • Walking unrestricted is allowed post discharge
  • Cycling/running/swimming is allowed 2 weeks post discharge
  • No special diet post-surgery is required to be followed.
  • Make an appointment to see Dr Golani 4 weeks post-surgery.

Improved Quality of Life

After successful ventral hernia repair, patients often experience significant improvements in their quality of life, including reduced pain, increased mobility, and enhanced overall well-being.

For further information or to discuss treatment options, please contact our team for a consultation with Dr Golani. A GP referral will be required prior to your consultation.

Frequently Asked Questions about Hernia Surgery

What If a Hernia Is Left Untreated?

It is important to note that a hernia will not improve without surgery. If a hernia is left untreated, it can lead to serious complications. Here are some potential consequences: