More than 2 million people in the U.S. each year undergo abdominal surgery. Between 3% and 20% will develop a ventral incisional hernia. These are hernias that occur at the site of an abdominal surgical incision. These incisional hernias can grow very large and become painful and unsightly. More importantly, the intestine can get caught in the hernia. This is known as incarceration. An incarcerated hernia can lead to a strangulated hernia, where the blood supply to the bowel becomes severely limited and the bowel can die. This is a life-threatening emergency.
A number of surgical techniques have been developed to repair incisional hernias. Most surgeons use a mesh to help create a stronger repair. A surgeon may choose to repair a hernia as an “open” procedure, or laparoscopically. In laparoscopic repair a few small incisions are used to place and fix a mesh inside the abdomen to repair the abdominal wall. Most data agree that an open repair and a laparoscopic repair have about the same outcome in terms of recurrence of the hernia. Recent publications show an improvement in the laparoscopic technique versus the open technique in terms of complications. Also there is a clear improvement in terms of pain and return to activity with the laparoscopic technique.
For further information, you can ask Dr. Ferzli.