An incisional hernia occurs when a surgical wound does not heal fully and a defect of the operative site remains.
This could be due to many factors. They are broadly divided into 2 causes: technical causes at the time of closing a surgical wound and biological causes that would inhabit good wound healing.
Dr Ganesh Ramalingam explains that approximate 10-20% of surgical wounds eventually develop into an incisional hernia, with the size of the wound, location of the wound and health of the patient and tissues being important factors in good wound healing.
An important fact to note that even after repair of the incisional hernia, the likelihood to the hernia recurring is about 25% to 50%, again depending on the technical difficulty of closure and biological aspects of wound healing.
What would aid in improving wound healing and reduce the chance of hernia formation and recurrence, includes the time of surgery, nutritional status or health of patient, underlying disease like infection around the wound, general disease like diabetes or organ dysfunction and precious surgeries.
Good post-surgery care must be taken as well. This includes close follow – up, care when exercising or lifting heavy weights, wound care and general good health maintenance will all help in reducing the chance of recurrence of hernia. Upon full recovery, most people can get back to a healthy lifestyle that includes all normal activities and exercise.
There are various ways to repair an incisional hernia. Broadly, there is the open and laparoscopic surgical techniques and if the hernia is large and difficult to completely close together, a mesh is frequently used to bridge the defect.