The most common sign of a ventral hernia is a protruding bulge in the abdomen that grows larger over time and may be painful. When gentle pressure is applied, the bulge will usually flatten. In addition, the bulge may be more visible after strenuous activity or prolonged periods of sitting or standing.
In rare cases, a ventral hernia may also be accompanied by severe pain, nausea and vomiting. These are signs of a strangulated hernia, which is a life-threatening complication that occurs when a piece of the patient’s bowel becomes trapped within the hernia, resulting in a compromised blood supply. This is considered a medical emergency and requires immediate evaluation and emergency surgery.
What causes a ventral hernia?
In some cases, a ventral hernia is present at birth due to a portion of the abdominal wall failing to close properly while the fetus is developing. In adults, a ventral hernia appears over time due to a weakening of the abdominal wall that allows organs and tissues to protrude through. This weakness occurs due to increased pressure within the abdomen, caused by a chronic cough, straining to have a bowel movement, trauma to the abdomen, lifting heavy objects, excessive fluid in the abdomen, pregnancy or being overweight.
How are ventral hernias treated?
It is important to note that ventral hernias will not repair themselves. Even if the pain disappears over time, the hernia still exists. Surgery is the only way to fully resolve the condition and prevent complications.
There are two distinct surgical options our experts use to treat ventral hernias: open hernia surgery or laparoscopic hernia repair. The procedure we use will be dependent on the exact nature, size and location of your hernia, as well as your medical history.
During open hernia surgery, our experts will make a single long incision in the abdomen, near the site of the defect. We will then return the tissues and organs to their proper location before repairing the hole or weakness in the abdominal wall using a mesh underlay or sutures. Recovery from open hernia surgery will typically last about three weeks, at which point patients may resume their normal activities. At six weeks, patients can resume strenuous exercise.
In some cases, we may use a minimally invasive procedure called laparoscopic hernia repair to treat a ventral hernia. During surgery, our experts will insert a thin scope with a camera attached to obtain internal visibility of the hernia and surrounding structures. We will then make a small incision to expose the weakened tissues in the abdominal wall, before placing a mesh patch or sutures to repair the defect. Following laparoscopic hernia repair, the recovery period is slightly shorter and associated with less pain and discomfort than open hernia surgery. In most cases, recovery lasts one to two weeks, at which point patients can resume light activity. At four weeks, patients can resume strenuous exercise.
If you suspect you have a hernia, or you have a protruding bulge near the groin or abdomen, it is important to seek immediate evaluation at the Los Angeles Hernia Center. Untreated hernias can lead to irreversible damage and the development of life-threatening complications, so time is of the essence. During your initial appointment, our team of surgeons will evaluate your symptoms and provide a definitive diagnosis. From there, we will compose a custom surgical plan to repair your hernia and prevent a recurrence using the most comfortable and minimally invasive techniques available. With years of experience and countless successful procedures, our surgeons have developed a reputation for delivering among the best ventral hernia repair Los Angeles has to offer.
We specialize in performing complete hernia surgery and repair, using the latest and most minimally invasive techniques available. Moreover, our staff is comprised of two leading hernia experts, both of whom are fully committed to providing our patients with the best ventral hernia treatment Los Angeles has available.
All procedures are performed in our surgical care center, which is a private alternative to a hospital setting. Because hernia repair is typically performed as an outpatient procedure, hospitalization simply is not necessary. As such, many patients prefer to undergo treatment in our state-of-the-art facility, which offers an added level of privacy, convenience, and comfort.Learn more