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Postoperative ventral hernia is the hernia which occurs through the postoperative scar of an incision of a previous surgery in the abdominal area. It is substantially the protrusion of the viscera from the inside of the abdomen through the scar of a previous surgical incision, there, where the abdominal wall is weaker and vulnerable to pressure.

It constitutes the second most frequent type of hernia, after the inguinal hernia, and occurs in 15% of patients.

Its occurrence may take place months or even years after surgery in the abdominal wall.

Causes of Postoperative Ventral Hernia

Postoperative ventral hernia may be caused by the following situations:

  • When a surgical site infection has occurred in the postoperative scar
  • In the case where the wound was not sutured properly
  • If the patient of is of old age
  • If the patient lifts heavy objects within a short period of time after surgery
  • When there is a problem of constipation or chronic cough
  • In case the patient suffers from diabetes mellitus or takes cortisone medication

Symptoms of Postoperative Ventral Hernia

Postoperative ventral hernia is noticed by the patient as a swelling in the abdominal wall and, in particular, near the postoperative scar from an incision of a previous surgical operation. The development of this hernia can create annoyance to the patient and if it presents with intense pain, nausea or vomiting or inability of gas and stool discharge, the patient should, as soon as possible, visit the hospital, as the hernia may be complicated (bowel obstruction – ileus / incarceration).

Postoperative ventral hernia treatment

The treatment of postoperative ventral hernia is exclusively surgical, as in any case of hernia, with the laparoscopic technique outperforming open surgery.

The basic advantage of the laparoscopic method for the particular type of hernia, is the absence of an incision at the same position with the previous incision, a fact which reduces postoperative pain and complications in general, for example surgical site infection or recurrence.

Reconstruction takes place with the placement of a mesh, which strengthens the abdominal wall and consequently minimizes the odds of recurrence.

Return to ordinary activities is fast and the patient can return home on the same day, without feeling any pain.