A ventral hernia is an abnormal bulge of tissue in the abdominal wall. A previous abdominal surgery, an injury or a variety of other causes can bring about this weakness in the abdominal muscles. This bulge may be small or large and may not cause any other problems or symptoms. The only way to fix this type of hernia is with surgery. If your doctor has identified that you have a ventral or incisional hernia, he may recommend that you have it repaired. You may need to have some blood work and other testing done before surgery.
This surgery is typically done under general anesthesia and can take anywhere from one hour to three hours to complete depending on the size of the hernia. The size of the incision will depend on the size and location of the hernia and whether it could be done laparoscopically or open. If the hernia is very small, you may be able to go home the same day, but most patients will spend the night in the hospital. The only restriction you will have at home is no heavy lifting or straining and you may be asked to wear an abdominal binder until your incision is healed.
Most patients can plan to be off work for 10 days to two weeks and possibly longer if your job requires heavy lifting. By the end of six weeks, your body should be completely healed from the surgery and you may resume all normal activities.