Ventral Hernia Repair

What is a Ventral Hernia?

A ventral (abdominal) hernia refers to any protrusion of the intestine or other tissue through a weakness or gap in the muscular abdominal wall. The term “ventral hernia” does include all hernias occurring through the ventral (front) side of the abdominal wall.

The use of the term “ventral hernia” usually refers to incisional hernias that result from previous surgical incisions on the abdomen. They can occur in approximately 20% of all conventional incisions used for opening the abdomen for surgery. They occur most commonly after surgeries for diverticulitis, abdominal trauma, or other open surgeries. The incidence of hernia formation is higher in patients who are obese or who have had complications from their original operation including infection.

Common Causes of Ventral Hernias

  • Previous abdominal surgery
  • Chronic coughing
  • Heavy lifting
  • Pregnancy
  • Injury
  • Obesity

How do I know if I have a Ventral Hernia?

A ventral hernia can be a painless bulge in the muscular abdominal wall. It can also present with symptoms such as discomfort, pain, bloating, or nausea after eating. It is usually easily diagnosed by a surgeon by physical examination. A CT scan may be necessary to evaluate the size of the hernia and the dimensions and characteristics of the surrounding musculature.
ventral hernia

How Serious is a Ventral Hernia ?

Many ventral hernias can be safely observed without surgery depending on the location and size of the hernia. Your surgeon can help you with choosing this option.

Most ventral hernias will require treatment due to increasing size or symptoms that are intolerable.

Even in ventral hernias that cause no symptoms there is always a risk of an emergency from the hernia. The hernia can cause an intestinal obstruction when the intestine becomes incarcerated in the hernia defect. Over time an incarcerated hernia can become strangulated when the contents of the hernia are squeezed to the point where they lose circulation and this leads to infarction (cell death) of the hernia contents. A strangulated ventral hernia can rarely lead to death if untreated.

Treatment Options for Ventral Hernia

Dr. Yunis offers all available hernia repair techniques based on the type of hernia and to suit his patients' needs. Techniques available for ventral hernia repair include:

Conventional or “open” procedure

This procedure involves an incision over the area of the hernia and the hernia is repaired by closing the muscular hernia defect and usually placing a prosthetic mesh material behind the area of the hernia. Incisions can range from a few inches to the entire length of the abdomen.

Robotic (DaVinci) Surgery

Robotic surgery has almost completely replaced the older laparoscopic option for repair. It has improved visibility and dexterity beyond laparoscopic and open surgery. Robotic surgical repair of ventral hernias dramatically improves outcomes in terms of safety and comfort for the patient. Complications and postoperative pain are significantly reduced with robotic technology and surgical experience.

How Serious is Ventral Hernia Surgery?

While all surgery is serious, an experienced surgeon choosing the right approach will yield safe and easy recoveries compared to the past. Small ventral hernias can often be performed on an outpatient basis. Larger and more complicated ventral hernias often require an overnight hospital stay. Extraordinarily large and recurrent ventral hernias may require 2-4 days of hospitalization.

The risk of major complications in experienced surgical hands should be under 1%.

How Long Does it Take to Recover from a Ventral Hernia Repair?

Most people will experience some degree of pain or discomfort after the surgery that will delay returning to driving or office-type work for a few days. The degree of pain that you will experience is variable. Your surgeon is motivated to minimize this pain but it can be significant but rarely lasts more than a few days. Pain medications will be discussed and prescribed for you.

Depending on the size of the hernia many can return to physical activities within days or weeks of the operation. Some larger and more complicated hernias may require avoidance of significant stress on the abdominal wall for several months.

Why Choose the Center for Hernia Repair in Sarasota, FL

Hernias can be painful, unsightly and even make it difficult to enjoy the things that are important for you. At the Center for Hernia Repair, we have a conservative approach that may even be nonoperative management. When we recommend surgery, we offer all options and are able to customize the solution to the individual patient. Dr. Yunis has dedicated his life to becoming expert at all things related to hernia. His anatomical understanding and technical expertise with conventional and robotic surgery is among the best in the world.

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Center for Hernia Repair

1435 South Osprey Avenue
Suite 201
Sarasota, Florida 34239
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