Ventral hernias are hernias that occur anywhere on the abdominal wall. Incisional hernias can also occur anywhere but are at the site of a prior surgical incision. In ventral and incisional hernias, part of the intestines protrude through a hole or defect in the abdominal wall leading to a bulge and/or pain. Ventral and incisional hernias can vary in size from very small, to very large, multiple and/or complex. Some patients also present to us after a failed prior repair (recurrent hernia).

Ventral and incisional hernias do not just go away and tend to get progressively larger and more symptomatic over time. They may also cause incarceration or strangulation of the bowel (when it gets trapped within the hernia), which is a serious problem that requires urgent medical attention.

Ventral and incisional hernias have a high rate of recurrence if repaired by pulling tissue together and simply suturing them under tension. Modern repair is achieved with a "tension-free" technique though the use of a mesh. At the Hernia Program, we offer a number of repair techniques:

Open Repair, where an incision is made over the hernia

Laparoscopic Repair or "key-hole" surgery, where a number of tiny incisions are made and the hernia repaired with the help of a scope

Component Separation, where the muscles are separated from each other to allow them to come together and close the hernia

Our experienced hernia surgeons will fully examine you, evaluate your hernia and decide with you on the approach best suited for you in order to repair your hernia properly and avoid recurrence and complications later on. In smaller and uncomplicated ventral and incisional hernias, discharge on the "Same Day" as surgery is anticipated. Large and/or more complex hernia repairs often do require an overnight hospital stay.

To make an appointment, please call 703.717.HERNIA or 703.717.4376

Ventral Hernia Repair - Instructions After Surgery (PDF)

More Info on Ventral and Incisional Hernias


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Vol. 5, Issue 11 | November

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Surgical Associates
at Virginia Hospital Center

1625 N. George Mason Dr., Ste 334
Arlington, VA 22205
Tel: 703.717.4250
Fax: 703.717.4251

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