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Incisional and Ventral Hernia Repair


Incisional and Ventral Hernia Repair are similar surgical procedures to correct a hernia (a bulging of an organ or tissue through an abnormal opening).
In the case of an incisional hernia – repair of a hernia related to an incompletely-healed surgical wound (e.g.: abdominal exploratory surgery). In the case of a ventral hernia – repairing a bulging of tissues through an opening in the muscles on the abdomen.



  • Large hernia with or without symptoms.
  • Recurrent incisional hernia.
  • Small bowel obstruction incarcerated or strangulated hernia.
  • Repair for cosmetic reasons.

Preoperative Instructions

  • Smoking cessation 6 weeks before operation.
  • Reduce 10% of total body weight in obese patients.
  • Treat infections.
  • Good exercise.


Open Repair

A surgeon makes a cut next to the hernia or on it, pushes tissue back into place and then sews in a mesh, which serves as a reinforcing patch, to keep it in place. This is considered safe and reliable, and mesh placement has been shown to reduce risk of hernia recurrence.
These are a few concerns about open repair:

  • Longer stay in the hospital after surgery.
  • Greater amount of pain.
  • Medium to large scar.

Laparoscopic repair

A surgeon makes multiple small openings and fixes your hernia with mesh using guidance with a small camera inside your body to direct the surgery.
The benefits of laparoscopic repair include:

  • Much smaller cut site, which lowers chance of infection.
  • Reduced postoperative pain.
  • Reduced hospital stays – generally able to leave day of or day after procedure.
  • Absence of a large scar.
  • Faster overall recovery time.

Postoperative Instructions

  • Walking in encouraged as soon as possible to enhance recovery.
  • Pain management.
  • Avoid heavy weight pushing, pulling and lifting for a few weeks.
  • Recurrent hernias can be prevented by losing weight if you are overweight, avoiding constipation, using correct lifting techniques and exercising regularly.

Risks and Complications

  • Pain due to nerve injury.
  • Infection at the incision site or mesh.
  • Blood or fluid accumulation.
  • Urinary retention.
  • Recurrence of the hernia.

Related Information

Incisional and Ventral Hernia