Incisional hernia

Incisional hernias (alternative plural: herniae) are relatively common and along with parastomal herniasumbilical herniasparaumbilical hernias, and Spigelian hernias, they are usually anterior abdominal hernias.

Incisional hernias usually develop within a few months of surgery, but a small proportion can remain clinically silent for years. They typically occur after laparotomy with rates of ~7.5%.

Numerous risk factors for developing an incisional hernia have been identified 4:

  • pre-operative factors: increasing age, female gender, BMI >25, increasing thickness of subcutaneous fat based on CT, pre-operative chemotherapy
  • intra-operative factors: midline incision, contaminated or infected wound noted during procedure, intra-operative blood loss
  • post-operative factors: surgical site infection

Incisional hernias occur most frequently through previous laparotomy scars (other incisional hernias are possible, such as a lung hernia). Widening or dehiscence of the scar allows intra-abdominal contents to herniate into the subcutaneous tissues.

Complications are similar to other hernias and include incarceration, strangulation and intestinal obstruction.

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Article information

rID: 1495
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Incisional herniae
  • Incisional hernias
  • Incisional herniation

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Cases and figures

  • Case 1: right iliac fossa appendectomy scar hernia containing colon
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  • Case 2
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  • Case 3: parastomal hernia
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  • Case 4
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  • Case 5
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  • Case 6
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  • Case 7: port site hernia
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  • Case 8: lumbar hepatic
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  • Case 9: Incisional hernia
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