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.