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Rectus sheath hernia

Rectus sheath hernias (alternative plural: herniae) are a very seldom seen form of herniation through the anterior abdominal wall. Herniation of intra-abdominal contents (mesenteric fat +/- bowel), is usually through the posterior rectus sheath only and thus these are often termed posterior rectus sheath hernias. The hernia can extend to various degrees. 

These hernias are a subtype of the interparietal hernia group as the herniating tissue is interposed between the abdominal wall layers.

Most rectus sheath hernias have been found to result from surgical weakening of the wall or following trauma. Spontaneous cases are exceedingly rare, with a few in the medical literature.

A CT may give the best appreciation of the anatomy and is usually seen as a hernia within a large portion of the rectus sheath.

A rectus sheath hernia is thought to have been first reported in the literature in 1937 1-4.

Article information

rID: 84851
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Rectus sheath herniae
  • Posterior rectus sheath herniation
  • Posterior rectus sheath hernias
  • Posterior rectus sheath hernia
  • Rectus sheath herniation
  • Rectus sheath hernias

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Cases and figures

  • Case 1: posterior rectus sheath hernia
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  • Case 2: posterior rectus sheath hernia
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