Incisional Hernia Treatment Sydney
Incisional Hernias are postoperative conditions that occur due to the weakening of muscle around the area where the incision has taken place. Incisional Hernias are where due to pressure- the surrounding area of tissues, muscles or intestines are pushed toward the Incision and surrounding skin, causing a large lump to protrude outwards from the abdomen. All cases of Abdominal Surgery carry the risk of Incisional Hernia and due care must be taken after surgery to ensure the complete and thorough healing of your wound.
Due to the weakening of the muscles at the place of incision and the immediate surrounding area, Incisional Hernias can occur for anyone coming out of Abdominal Surgery, regardless of age, lifestyle and health status- so it is very important to ensure you are aware of all of your body’s needs pre and post surgery.
Incisional Hernias can occur at any stage post operation, though you are most vulnerable within the first 6 months. A majority of Incisional Hernias have been reported to occur within the range of 3-6 months after surgery has taken place. It is vital that you ensure proper and complete healing has taken place in and around the area of Incision before taking up regular activities, even after 6 months, as you are still at risk, even though your chances have been lowered.
Keep in contact with your surgeon or your Doctor to track your progress after surgery and to ensure you have been given the all clear to perform certain activities again. No matter the length of time that has occurred since the operation, take the time to get the Doctors approval. There could be some simple information or advice you may need to follow.
To reduce the likelihood of developing Incisional Hernia it is important to take note of all of your surgeon’s instructions for postoperative care. It is recommended that you ensure you have all of the information you require from your surgeon and that you clarify any details you may not be clear on. Following all of your surgeon’s recommendations will aid in the smoothest transition out of surgery and reduce risk and healing time.
It is vital to ensure you have discussed with your surgeon your healing time frame and that you strictly stick to this schedule. All excessive or premature exercise carries higher risks for abdominal pressure which intensify your risk to developing Incisional Hernia. Other factors to consider are any other forms of activity, exercise or lifestyle that adds additional abdominal pressure.
Additional abdominal pressure could occur due to various factors including, but not limited to:
· weight gain
· lifting heavy objects
· strenuous work
· bowel movements
If you have any concerns about the risk of abdominal pressure in your daily routine, or if you have any activity you regularly partake in that you fear may put you at risk- it is necessary that you talk with your surgeon immediately.
If you have been advised to cut any activity or work by your surgeon, it is vital that you take this advice seriously and seize this activity until further notice. Prematurely veering from your surgeon’s care plan in any way can carry risks now and ongoing.
If you follow the instructions by your surgeon you will have every chance of a smooth and healthy transition from surgery to living a normal life again.
What is an incisional hernia?
An incisional hernia is a hernia caused by a surgical wound that has not healed completely.
All operations on your abdomen require stitches. Sometimes, this wound does not heal properly, and your abdominal muscle layer is weakened. The contents of your abdomen – as well as the inner muscles – therefore push through, creating a lump under the skin.
Signs of an incisional hernia include the following:
- Burning sensation around the bulge
- Pain that increases when lifting heavy objects or undergoing straining physical activity
- Nausea or vomiting – this can be a symptom of an infection
What are the benefits of surgery?
Following successful incisional hernia surgery, you will no longer have the hernia. This will prevent any further complications and allow you to return to normal activities, including physical tasks.
There are several types of incisional hernia treatment, including minimally invasive surgery. Please don’t hesitate to contact our friendly Sydney-based team to schedule a consultation. Our clinic – located in NSW, Australia – offers surgical repair for hiatal, inguinal, umbilical, and ventral abdominal hernias.
Are there any alternatives to surgery?
Hernias will not get better without surgery. You can sometimes control the hernia with supportive clothing and accessories, or just leave it alone. That being said, if you do want to recover fully from your hernia, surgery is your only option.
It is worth mentioning, however, that after surgery, the hernia may come back.
What does the operation involve?
The operation to remove your hernia will take about 90 minutes. Whether you have a small or large incisional hernia, you will have several anaesthetic technique options.
Though most hernias can be repaired through a keyhole approach, occasionally larger hernias need repair via an open incision.
First, your surgeon will make a cut into your old scar. Then, they will repair and strengthen the weak, damaged tissue using either stitches or a synthetic mesh. If you require synthetic mesh, your surgeon will stitch this to the muscle layer underneath your skin.
When all the stitches are in place, your surgeon will close the skin over the wound. They may need to create a skin flap to properly cover the new incision.
If you have any further questions about the procedure, check out our FAQs page.
What complications can happen?
All surgeries come with risks. General complications include the following:
- Pain around the incisions site
- Infection of the surgical wound
- Excessive bleeding
- Unsightly or undesirable scarring
- Blood clots in your leg or lungs
Specific incisional hernia treatment risks include the following:
- Development of blood or fluid under the wound
- Injury to your bowel
- Damage to nerves
- The removal of your belly button
To find out more about what to expect after incisional hernia repair open surgery, visit our blog.
How soon will I recover?
Patients are typically free to go home after incisional hernia repair in one to four days. During this time, we advise gradually increasing your activity by walking around.
Your doctor will let you know when you can return to work and resume physical activity. Exercise can speed up the recovery process, but before you jump up and overexert yourself, check with your healthcare team or general practitioner.
The vast majority of patients make a full recovery. Do keep in mind, however, that the hernia may reappear. If this happens, contact a trusted medical professional as soon as possible.