Of the hernia types – ventral hernias forms somewhere on the anterior abdominal wall. Although different, epigastric hernias and incisional hernias can also be grouped into ventral hernias and thus can be described below.
Hernia Types – Ventral -The Basics
These types of hernias are similar to all other hernias in that they form due to weakening of the abdominal muscles. These hernias are located between the belly button or navel, and the lower part of the breast bone. Repair of these hernias is very common and can be done with open surgery or laparoscopic surgery techniques.
Symptoms of a ventral or epigastric hernia
Like most other hernias, pain in the abdomen is one of the most common symptoms. Also, due to the fat and intestines pushing through the hernia, a bulge can often form under the skin. This bulge can get bigger and smaller depending on what is in the hernia.
Over time, if the hernia gets large enough, the intestine can get permanently trapped, which can lead to damage to the intestine, as well as other symptoms like nausea, vomiting, and constipation.
Read more about symptoms our ‘Hernia Symptoms‘ page.
How are ventral hernias repaired?
Ventral hernias, epigastric hernias, as well as several other, are excellent candidates for laparoscopic hernia repair since the hole is usually large and is surrounded by weakened abdominal muscles.. Similar to an inguinal hernia, a camera is placed through the muscle into the abdomen along with two smaller punctures for the operating instruments. From there, any scar tissue between the intestine and the hernia is cut allowing complete exposure of the hole.
A hernia mesh is rolled and placed through one of the laparoscopic ports into the abdomen. From there, it is pulled up against the muscle surrounding the hernia with stitches (sutures). Once the mesh is secured in place with about 4 sutures, a special stapling device is used to further fix the mesh to the healthy muscle.
We perform a tension free mesh repair technique utilizing the latest mesh available. Mesh helps prevent recurrences after the hernia repair by strengthening the muscle around the hernia defect. Learn more about hernia mesh on our ‘Truths About Hernia Mesh‘ page.
Ventral Hernia Repair Video
As mentioned above, incisional, and epigastric hernias can sometimes be grouped together into ‘ventral’ hernias. This is because they form on the ventral side of the body, or the abdomen. The video below is the repair of an incisional hernia and would be almost identical to a ventral hernia.
This patient was a doctor in Southern California and had a tumor removed 2 years before. She subsequently developed an incisional hernia which she had repaired at a large University Hospital. Unfortunately, shortly after her initial surgery, she developed a recurrent bulge in the pelvis area. We performed a laparoscopic recurrent incisional hernia repair for her at California Hernia Specialists.