A ventral hernia is a bulging of the abdominal wall, when tissue or bowel moves from its normal position through a weakness in the wall of the abdomen, causing a bulge/lump. The bulge can contain intestine (bowel) or fatty tissue and can cause pain. These hernias can occasionally be life-threatening if not treated where the fatty tissue/bowel can become trapped (incarcerated) and/or the blood supply to the lump cut off (strangulated).
Who commonly presents with it?
Some people are born with this muscle weakness, so it can occur at any age. It is more common as people get older, and it is more likely to occur in people with a persistent cough, constipation, people who are obese, pregnant, or those who do a lot of heavy lifting.
How does it present?
A ventral hernia may be the result of a natural weakness in the abdominal wall (called a defect), most commonly around the belly-button (umbilicus), or it may be the result of a weakness caused by a previous surgical incision (cut).
What can be done?
Your surgeon may carry out one of two types of operations:
- Laparoscopic (keyhole)
- Open surgery
The type of treatment which is suitable for you will depend upon the location and size of the hernia defect, your health, and any previous attempts at repairing the hernia.
How long will your recovery take?
Your stay in hospital can vary from a day case or an overnight stay, to a few days. The stay will depend on any complications, your health and home care situation.
What are the main risks of surgery?
Your surgeon will advise on any specific complications and risks. For all types of surgery there is always a risk of wound infection and a 1-2% risk of recurrence of the hernia.
Find out more
To find out more about treatments for hernia, please contact the Manchester Hernia Clinic on 0161 495 7754 or email us.