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Recurrent incisional hernia

Reoccurring hernia at a surgical scar

If you have a recurrent incisional hernia, HCA UK has the expertise and facilities to help

About

Incisional hernias are caused by a weakness in the muscle or tissue wall at the site of a previous surgery scar when an internal part of the body pushes through. If you've had a previous incisional hernia repair and the hernia comes back, this is a recurrent incisional hernia. It is possible to treat but it is more difficult than the first repair.

Need to know

  • Symptoms of recurrent incisional hernia icon plus

    Recurrent incisional hernias generally cause no or very few symptoms. You may notice a lump (bulge) in your tummy where you’ve had previous surgery. Sometimes you may experience some pain or discomfort or a burning or aching sensation where the hernia pokes through particularly if they are straining, lifting or exercising.

    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). Emergency surgery is always needed to solve this problem.
  • Diagnosis icon plus

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

    It may be necessary to carry out an ultrasound scan to confirm your diagnosis. This is a painless and non-invasive procedure that will help to assess how big your hernia is.

    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

    It is possible to treat the condition but further repair procedures are more difficult than the first.The procedure involves a general anaesthetic so you’ll be asleep during the procedure.

    Surgical options include:
    • Keyhole (laparoscopic) surgery. Involves two to four tiny cuts made near your naval, so the hernia can be pushed back into your abdomen.
    • Open surgery. A larger cut is made in the skin and your recovery time may be longer.

    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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