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Incisional hernia

Hernia (lump) at a previous surgical scar

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

About

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 (tummy). It usually appears as a lump (bulge).

Need to know

  • Symptoms of an incisional hernia icon plus

    Hernias generally cause no or very 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.
  • Diagnosis icon plus

    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.
  • Potential treatment options icon plus

    If your consultant recommends surgery, the procedure is relatively straightforward and 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

    A special mesh, which is strong and flexible, is often used to strengthen the area and prevent the hernia returning. Alternatively, the muscle layers may be stitched together to make them stronger.
Consultant in theatres

Our consultants

We're proud to work with leading experts across a range of medical fields, whose skills are matched by their integrity and compassion.

Our facilities

From complex surgery to straightforward procedures, we provide exceptional care across our network of hospitals, outpatient centres and specialist clinics.

Request an appointment

We're happy to help you make an appointment with one of our experienced consultants.

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