A ventral hernia is a sac (pouch) formed from the inner lining of your belly (abdomen) that pushes through a hole in the abdominal wall. Ventral hernias often occur at the site of an old surgical cut (incision). This type of ventral hernia is also called incisional hernia.
Ventral hernia repair is surgery to repair a ventral hernia. You will probably receive general anesthesia (asleep and pain-free) for this surgery. If your hernia is small, you may receive a spinal or epidural block and medicine to relax you. You will be awake, but pain-free. Your surgeon will make a surgical cut in your abdomen.
Your surgeon will find the hernia and separate it from the tissues around it. Then your surgeon will gently push the contents of the abdomen back into the abdomen. The surgeon will only cut the intestines if they have been damaged.
Strong stitches will be used to repair the hole or weak spot caused by the hernia. Your surgeon may also lay a piece of mesh under the weak area to make it stronger. Mesh helps prevent the hernia coming back.
Your surgeon may use a laparoscope to repair the hernia. This is a thin, lighted tube with a camera that lets the surgeon see inside your belly. The surgeon inserts the laparoscope through a small cut in your belly and inserts the instruments through other small cuts. This type of procedure often heals faster and with less pain and scarring. Not all hernias can be repaired with laparoscopic surgery.