What is an Incisional Hernia?
An incisional hernia occurs in an area of weakness caused by an incompletely-healed surgical wound. Since median incisions in the abdomen are frequent for abdominal exploratory surgery, ventral incisional hernias are termed ventral hernias. If it is not caused by an incision, then it is a epigastric hernia. These can be among the most frustrating and difficult hernias to treat.
Signs and symptoms
Clinically, incisional hernias present as a bulge or protrusion at or near the area of a surgical incision. Virtually any prior abdominal operation can develop an incisional hernia at the scar area (provided adequate healing does not occur due to infection), from large abdominal procedures (intestinal surgery, vascular surgery), to small incisions (appendix removal, or abdominal exploratory surgery). While these hernias can occur at any incision, they tend to occur more commonly along a straight line from the xiphoid process of the sternum straight down to the pubis, and are more complex in these regions. Hernias in this area have a high rate of recurrence if repaired via a simple suture technique under tension. For this reason, it is especially advised that these be repaired via a tension free repair method using mesh (a type of synthetic material).