A ventral hernia is fatty tissue or bowel that protrudes 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 the location of the hernia (i.e., umbilical hernias occur near the belly button).
Some people are prone to hernias due to genetic weakness in the abdominal wall. Other people acquire hernias through lifting, strain of the abdominal wall, or obesity.
Doctors use a physical exam and may use imaging studies, such as an ultrasound or a CT scan, to make a diagnosis.
At present, the only treatment for a hernia is surgery. In addition to causing pain, they can trap, wrap around, or “strangle” part of the intestine, reducing the blood supply to the intestines. If left untreated this would lead to severe pain, nausea, vomiting, and bowel obstruction and would require emergency surgery.
Our surgeons are experienced in minimally invasive laparoscopic surgery techniques using small incisions. This method allows for:
We use laparoscopic tools to develop small tunnels between the skin and the muscle to release the tension in the abdomen. We use sutures, mesh, or both to reinforce and repair the abdominal wall.
If your condition doesn’t allow for a laparoscopic procedure, your surgeon will need to make a larger abdominal incision. You and your surgeon will discuss the best treatment option for you.
Depending on the complexity of the hernia, patients may go home the day of surgery or require a short hospital stay.
When you go home:
Call (412) DOCTORS (412) 362-8677 or request an appointment to learn more about hernia services.