Abdominal surgery

Abdominal surgery is commonly used to treat various conditions and includes appendectomies, removing gallbladders to more complex surgeries such as bowel resections.

However, like all surgeries, it does have risks and complications. One of the unique risks associated with abdominal surgery is the risk a hernia will develop.

Incisional hernias can cause complications during recovery, needing additional treatment to repair them.

Discover more about the risk of hernias during abdominal surgery below.

Abdominal surgery and hernias

Hernias develop when an organ or tissue pushes through a weakened area. While they can occur in various parts of the body, they tend to be more common in the groin and abdomen.
After abdominal surgery, the wall of abdomen may be weakened, increasing the risk of hernia development. They tend to develop at the incision site, giving them the fitting name ‘Incisional Hernias’.

These types of hernias can develop months or even years after the abdominal surgery.

Causes of hernias after abdominal surgery

There are various reasons why a hernia may develop after abdominal surgery. Some of the most common causes include:

  • The surgical incisions create weak points in the abdominal wall
  • Poor wound healing, infection, or complications during the healing process
  • If non-absorbable sutures are used, they may irritate tissues over time
  • The procedure is carried out by an inexperienced surgeon
  • Intra-abdominal pressure

Preventing and treating hernias after surgery

While it isn’t always possible to prevent a hernia after surgery, there are some steps you can take to minimise the risk. These include:

  • Follow Postoperative Instructions: Closely follow the aftercare guidelines your surgeon provides after the surgery. This includes restrictions on lifting heavy objects and following a proper diet.
  • Monitor Incision Sites: Keep a close eye on your surgical incisions. If you notice any unusual bulges, discomfort, or changes in appearance (redness for example) consult your surgeon.
  • Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle: Engage in regular physical activity to strengthen your core muscles and maintain a healthy body weight. Obesity can increase the risk of hernias.
  • Wear Supportive Garments: In some cases, wearing a supportive compression garment can provide additional support to the abdominal area.
  • Regular Check-Ups: Follow-up appointments with your surgeon can help monitor your recovery and address any concerns quickly.

Following these tips will help to reduce the risk of a hernia. However, if one does develop, it’s important to seek treatment early to prevent potential complications and they won’t disappear by themselves.

You may need additional surgery to correct the hernia when the body is ready.

If you develop a hernia after abdominal surgery, schedule an appointment with Mr Micheal Stellakis. He can help advise you on the most appropriate treatment plan.