An incisional hernia is a protrusion of tissue that forms at the site of a healing surgical scar. The characteristic “bulge” can be identified when one is standing upright or is involved in physical activity, such as lifting heavy items. Because incisional hernias typically occur at the front of the abdomen, they are considered a type of ventral hernia. This type of hernia accounts for 15 to 20 percent of all abdominal hernia cases.
In most occurrences, only the abdominal lining comes through, making incisional hernias less severe than other types. However, incisional hernias do not heal on their own and require surgical treatment to repair.
At Mount Sinai, our surgeons are highly trained all facets of incisional hernia repair. Our team specializes in treating complex cases and recurring hernias.
Incisional Hernia Risk Factors
People who had abdominal surgery are at-risk for developing incisional hernias. They are especially susceptible three to six months following the procedure, when the tissues are still healing from the incision. Participating in strenuous activities, gaining a substantial amount of weight, or becoming pregnant can cause excessive stress on the healing abdominal tissue and should be avoided during this healing window in order to prevent incisional hernias and other post-surgical complications. As a type of ventral hernia, incisional hernias present with similar symptoms. Read more ventral hernia symptoms
Incisional Hernia Treatment
Surgery is necessary to push the protruding tissue back, remove any scar tissue, and adhere a surgical mesh on the hernia’s opening to prevent recurrence. The Mount Sinai Hospital offers both open surgery and minimally invasive treatment procedures, such as laparoscopic ventral/incisional hernia repair. The majority of incisional hernias do not return after being repaired; however, a rate of recurrence can range from five to 20 percent in patient who had a previous repair.
The Aufses Division of General Surgery
5 East 98th Street, 14th Floor
New York, NY 10029