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Ventral Hernia: Common Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis & Treatment

A ventral hernia is a fatty tissue that extends through a hole or defect in the abdominal wall muscles, often creating a bulge. A ventral hernia can occur anywhere on the abdomen. The name depends on where the hernia occurs. For instance, umbilical hernia occurs near the belly button, incisional hernia develops at the place of previous surgery or epigastric hernia that develops below the breastbone of the navel.

Some people are prone to hernias due to genetic weakness in the abdominal wall, while some experience this health condition due to heavy lifting, chronic constipation, obesity or a history of abdominal or pelvic surgery. Here’s everything you must know about ventral hernia…

Causes of Ventral Hernia

When there is a weakness around the incision of previous abdominal surgery, it can put extra strain on the walls of the muscles that can lead to a hernia. Some factors that can cause the muscles to weaken include…

  • Defect present since birth

  • Infection at the surgical spot

  • Failed surgical repair or mesh placement

Symptoms of Ventral Hernia

One may not show any signs or symptoms in the initial stages of ventral hernia, while in some cases, it may take weeks to experience any symptoms. However, a common symptom is when one starts to experience nausea, mild discomfort or severe pain in the abdominal area when trying to stand or lift heavy objects. There can also be visible bulging.

Diagnosis of Ventral Hernia

When you visit a doctor to diagnose this health condition, the doctor will first ask you about the symptoms and perform a physical examination. For thorough diagnosis, doctors generally suggest the following imaging tests-

  • Abdominal ultrasound

  • CT scan

  • MRI scan

Treatment of Ventral Hernia

The treatment of ventral hernia is decided by the hernia surgeon depending on certain factors including…

  • Previous surgeries in the abdomen area

  • Whether or not it’s tough to reach the location of the hernia

  • Any other medical conditions

There are generally two ways in which a ventral hernia can be treated – conventional open surgery and laparoscopic hernia repair.

Traditional Open Ventral Hernia Repair

A surgeon makes an incision adjacent to the hernia, pushes the tissues back into place and then sews the area. A mesh may or may not be used.

Laparoscopic Ventral Hernia Repair

A surgeon makes multiple small openings and treats the hernia using a small camera inserted in the body to help with the surgery. A mesh may or may not be used.

Some of the advantages of Laparoscopic ventral hernia repair include…

  • Minimal post-operative pain

  • Quick recovery

  • Minimal chances of complications

If you or your loved one is experiencing hernia symptoms, don’t wait. Click below for timely medical attention and expert guidance.