Incisional hernia repair (recurrent)

Repair to a reoccurring hernia at a previous surgery scar

If you've a lump pushing a previous surgery scar, it may be a recurrent incisional hernia. HCA UK can help.

About recurrent incisional hernia

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 lump comes back, you may have a recurrent incisional hernia. It is possible to treat but it is more difficult than the first repair.

Need to know

  • What happens icon plus

    If you’ve had surgery to repair an incisional hernia, there is always a small risk that the hernia will reoccur. If this happens, your consultant may be able to repair it; however it is a more complex procedure.

    Your consultant will make a cut higher than your previous surgery scar to gain access to the hernia behind the weakness in your abdominal muscles. The tissue or organ is then pushed back into the abdomen and the hernia opening inside your body is covered with a synthetic mesh to strengthen your abdominal wall and prevent the hernia recurring.
  • How to prepare icon plus

    Your GP or consultant will examine the affected area and may refer you for an ultrasound scan. This is a painless, non-invasive test, but it will help to confirm the diagnosis.

    Your consultant will decide what type of anaesthetic to give you – this may be a general anaesthetic which means you’ll be asleep throughout the procedure or a local anaesthetic.

    You will be admitted on the day of surgery unless there are any reasons which may require you to be admitted the day before.

    Your consultant will tell you how to prepare for your surgery. They will take time to talk you through the risks and side effects involved and answer any questions.
  • Afterwards icon plus

    You may experience bruising, swelling and discomfort after the procedure. Painkillers should help with this in the first 24-48 hours.

    You may be able to go home on the same day as your surgery.

    It's important to follow your consultant’s instructions. This includes eating plenty of fibre and drinking lots of fluids to avoid straining when you go to the toilet.

    You should make a full recovery within about six weeks. Some people are able to return to light activity, work and driving in about two weeks.

    You may experience numbness in the area or a different sensation – this may be temporary or it may be permanent but shouldn’t cause any problems.

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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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