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An incisional hernia may occur along or near surgical scars in the abdomen. They usually do not cause any issues, but they may get bigger over time. However, when the incisional hernia is getting larger or causing problems, they need to be operated on with a procedure known as incisional hernia repair.
There are two different techniques for performing incisional hernia repair, open surgery, and laparoscopic surgery, both are performed under general anesthetic. In open surgery, your surgeon cuts the abdomen open and closes the gap that the hernia protrudes through from the outside, and then a mesh is placed on it to strengthen it. In laparoscopic surgery, your surgeon makes several small incisions to insert surgical instruments and a tiny tube with a camera attached to it (laparoscope).
You are usually required to stay in the hospital for one to three days, but in some cases, you may be able to leave the hospital on the same day. However, you are not allowed to travel long-distance right after you have been discharged. You will need to stay in Thailand for around 7 to 14 days or until your surgeon says you can fly home. During your stay, you will attend follow-up hospital checkups so your doctor can monitor your condition and remove the stitches.
The complete recovery for an incisional hernia repair may take around three to six weeks, but you should be able to go back to work two weeks after the surgery. If you have laparoscopic surgery, the recovery time is typically shorter.
You will need to keep the surgery site clean, but avoid pools, baths, and hot tubs. Make sure to do some gentle exercises as it will help with the healing process, but make sure to avoid any strenuous activities for around 4 to 6 weeks. Your surgeon may give you a diet plan and ensure to follow all instructions.
The success rate of incisional hernia repair is 95% and the rate of recurrence is as low as 3.4%. All complications associated with the surgery are minor and usually require no hospital admission. The risks and side effects include infection, injuries in the abdominal cavity, and pain.
The alternatives to incisional hernia repair are home care measures, which can only be done if the incisional hernia is not causing any issues. The alternatives include maintaining a healthy weight, reducing abdominal pressure, eating healthy, and controlling diabetes.
Incisional hernia can be unpleasant and cause serious symptoms. After you have undergone an incisional hernia repair, you should not feel any symptoms and you can get back to normal living.
Whilst the information presented here has been accurately sourced and verified by a medical professional for its accuracy, it is still advised to consult with your doctor before pursuing a medical treatment at one of the listed medical providers. This content was last updated on 28/11/2020.