Open Incisional Hernia Repair

What is an incisional hernia?

An incisional hernia is usually caused by a weakness of surgical wounds, which may be caused by haematoma, seroma, or infection, all of which result in decreased wound healing. They may also be caused by increased intra abdominal pressure due to a chronic cough, constipation, urinary obstruction, pregnancy or ascites.



An open hernia repair can be done with a local anaesthetic or a general anaesthetic. Local anaesthetic is more suitable for a small first-time hernia procedure, but you may be more comfortable having general if your surgery is complex.

The surgeon will make the incision in the skin over the hernia once the anaesthetic has taken effect and examine the area carefully to make sure that any bowel that has pushed through is still healthy. This is then pushed back into place and a piece of mesh is stitched over the weak part of the body wall with dissolvable stitches. The incision is then closed with dissolvable stitches.



If the surgery is a complex hernia repair, it will require longer recovery time than a simple open repair or laparoscopic repair. You will probably stay in hospital overnight and will then need to rest at home, remaining gently mobile until your abdomen heals. This can take up to two weeks or more before you can return to normal activities and work. 

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