Incisional hernia


If you have an incisional hernia, HCA UK has the expertise and facilities for incisional hernia repair

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What is an incisional hernia?

Hernias are caused by a weakness in the muscle or tissue wall which allows an internal part of the body to push through. An incisional hernia is a common condition in which tissue or parts of your bowel poke through a surgical scar on your abdomen. It usually appears as a lump or bulge.

Incisional hernia can be recurrent, and in some circumstances can be classed as complex, particularly when other medical conditions have been diagnosed.

Need to know 

Hernias generally cause few symptoms. If you have an incisional hernia, you may notice a swelling or lump (bulge) in your tummy where you’ve had previous surgery (such as having your appendix out or a C-section).

You may be able to push the lump back in or it might seem to go away when you lie down. If you cough or strain, the bulge may reappear.

As with all hernias, they can sometimes cause severe pain and vomiting. This happens if the hernia strangulates (when fatty tissue or parts of the bowel get caught in the hernia). In these situations, emergency surgery is needed to solve the problem.

Your GP or consultant should be able to identify if you have a hernia by examining your lump and the affected area.

Sometimes it may be necessary to carry out an ultrasound scan to confirm the diagnosis. This is a simple, painless and non-invasive procedure that will help to assess its severity.

The following factors may be taken into consideration before any treatment options are recommended:

  • The risk of strangulation (when fatty tissue or parts of the bowel get caught in the hernia)
  • If your symptoms are changing or the hernia is getting bigger.
  • The effect the hernia is having on your day-to-day life.
  • Your health in general.

If your consultant recommends surgery, the procedure usually involves a general anaesthetic.

There are two ways incisional hernias can be treated surgically:

  • keyhole (laparoscopic) surgery, which involves making two to four tiny cuts made near your naval, so the hernia can be pushed back into your abdomen
  • open surgery, where a larger cut is made in the skin

More about hernia repair surgery or surgery for a recurrent incisional hernia

Our Incisional hernia locations

The Harley Street Clinic

The Harley Street Clinic

35 Weymouth Street W1G 8BJ London
The Princess Grace Hospital

The Princess Grace Hospital

42-52 Nottingham Place W1U 5NY London
The Lister Hospital

The Lister Hospital

Chelsea Bridge Road, SW1W 8RH London
The Shard Outpatients

The Shard Outpatients

The Shard, 32 St Thomas Street SE1 9BS London
London Bridge Hospital

London Bridge Hospital

27 Tooley Street SE1 2PR London
Walk-In GP Centre at London Bridge Hospital

Walk-In GP Centre at London Bridge Hospital

29 Tooley Street SE1 2PR London

Patient stories

This content is intended for general information only and does not replace the need for personal advice from a qualified health professional.