Incisional hernias are protrusions of contents of the abdominal cavity, through a previous surgical scar / incision.
Incisional hernias are formed as a consequence of a failure of healing at previous surgical wound sites. This can happen as a consequence of obesity, smoking, diabetes and any other chronic medical condition or medication that leads to impaired wound healing.
Incisional hernias can cause pain and discomfort. If they become strangulated, bits of bowel can become trapped and even perforated if urgent surgery is not performed. Bowel obstruction from adhesions in the hernia is another common problem. A large bulge from the abdominal wall is another common finding.
Normally, simple history and examination is all that’s required to diagnose incisional hernias. Some patients may require an Ultrasound or CT scan if no hernia is found on examination of the area.