There are several subtypes of "complex" hernias, which is a term that refers to a hernia that causes futher complications, that won't heal properly, or that is caused by abdominal surgery. An incisional hernia, also referred to as a “ventral hernia,” is a potential aftermath of abdominal surgery. The incision line, more often with vertical incisions used for appendectomies or cesarean sections during childbirth, forms a scar that even years later can herniate.
The abdominal wall consists of multiple layers that have to be sewn back together after the surgery, and these may not heal correctly or may lose strength as time goes by. It’s more common in populations that tend to be less active following surgery, such as the elderly or obese. As with other hernias, the signs can be limited. A visible bulge and pain in the area affected are often the only hints that a hernia has developed. Regardless, these should be treated promptly to prevent the incisional hernia from becoming very large and troublesome. Strangulated hernias are a possibility in the case of incisional hernias as well.
Another reason getting prompt hernia treatment is so essential is to prevent the development of recurrent hernias. Recurrent hernias can result from nearly any type of hernia a patient undergoes treatment for, although they tend to spring from incisional hernias, which occur in areas where a lot of difficult-to-repair scar tissue is already present.
In the same way that the site of incision breaks down and produces a hernia, the original site of hernia repair breaks down to develop a hernia again. The more a recurrent hernia is repaired, the less likely it is to stay that way. The signs of a recurrent hernia vary depending upon what type of hernia it was originally. As with many types of hernias, the only signs may be the presence of a bulge and some discomfort, but even these slight indicators are not guaranteed.
This is the primary reason it is so important to have a medical professional take a look at any places you suspect you might have a hernia—and sometimes this may require a specialist to diagnose and/or treat. If you’ve had treatment for a hernia in the past, keep an eye on the area over the years for early detection.
Did you know...
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- Just saying the words "thank you" can measurably improve your mood. Researchers can actually measure happiness and changes in brain structure when people practiced regular "grateful thinking." This included things like writing thank you notes, writing gratitude journal entries, mindfully counting their blessings, and thanking friends. It may be helpful in overcoming depression!