Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Ventral Hernia Overview

What is a ventral hernia?
A person with a ventral hernia has a piece of intestine that protrudes through an abnormal opening in the abdominal wall. In order for an ventral hernia to form, there must be a hole, tear or weakened area in the abdominal wall, usually caused by a previous surgical incision. This abnormal weakness allows the intestine to protrude through the hole or tear, and the intestine forms a bulge underneath the skin. The abnormal opening may be in the umbilicus or in a surgical scar. Causes of ventral hernia include brith defects, abdominal injuries, and abdominal surgery. Ventral hernias account for less than 5 percent of all hernias.

What are the symptoms of a ventral hernia?
The most common symptom of a ventral hernia includes a bulge or knot under the skin in the abdomen. The bulge is more prominent while lifting, laughing, straining, or coughing. Usually, the bulge can be pushed back into the abdomen. Symptoms of a serious ventral hernia may include hernia pain or swelling, abdominal pain, abdominal swelling, vomiting, constipation, or fever.

How does the doctor treat a ventral hernia?
A ventral hernia is treated with surgery, which may be performed with a laparoscope, or through an incision in the abdomen.

Continue to Ventral Hernia Incidence

Last Updated: Sep 10, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Ventral Hernia References
  1. Abir F, Eisenberg D, Bell R. Laparoscopic ventral hernia repair using a two (5-mm) port technique. JSLS. 2005 Jan-Mar;9(1):94-6. [15791980]
  2. Courtney CA, Lee AC, Wilson C, O'Dwyer PJ. Ventral hernia repair: a study of current practice. Hernia. 2003 Mar;7(1):44-6. [12612798]
  3. Franklin ME Jr, Gonzalez JJ Jr, Glass JL, Manjarrez A. Laparoscopic ventral and incisional hernia repair: an 11-year experience. Hernia. 2004 Feb;8(1):23-7. [14505237]
  4. Morales-Conde S. Laparoscopic ventral hernia repair: advances and limitations. Semin Laparosc Surg. 2004 Sep;11(3):191-200. [15510315]
  5. Sanchez LJ, Bencini L, Moretti R. Recurrences after laparoscopic ventral hernia repair: results and critical review. Hernia. 2004 May;8(2):138-43. [14712370]
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