Does Incisional Hernia Require Surgery

Does Incisional Hernia Require Surgery

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If you are having the symptoms of an Incisional hernia and wondering whether it requires, The simple answer is, Yes, Incisional hernias require surgery to avoid severe complications and fatal consequences.

If you have been diagnosed with an incisional hernia, you may be wondering whether to operate on it or not. In such a case, it is best to consult with a hernia specialist, know the severity of your incisional hernia, and move forward with your decision.

Based on the size and symptoms of the hernia and whether it hinders your body functions or not, surgical or non-surgical opinion can be adopted.

Does Incisional Hernia Require Surgery?

An incisional hernia would require surgery ultimately. To be completely relieved from incisional hernia you will have to take up surgery.

An incisional hernia can make the incision site tear more and lead to more complications.

A small asymptomatic incisional hernia can be managed without surgery. However, large and symptomatic incisional hernias must be treated as soon as possible to prevent them from getting more severe.

Large and symptomatic hernias pose a threat of strangulation, incarceration, or obstruction.

Since the site of the surgical wound is involved it is better to go with surgery for the good of both the hernia issue and the incisional wound.

How to Know if an Incisional Hernia Requires Surgery?

Incisional hernia also comes with complications such as obstruction, incarceration, and strangulation.

If you feel that your bowel parts are entangled with the content of the hernia in the sac, it means that the hernia is obstructed.

When the hernia becomes irreducible and the pain increases it indicates that the hernia has got incarcerated and possibly strangulated.

Some of the symptoms that indicate that the incisional hernia requires immediate medical treatment include

  • Chronic pain in the affected area
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Indigestion
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea

What are the Surgical Options for Incisional Hernia?

Incisional hernia can be operated through

  • Open surgery
  • Laparoscopic surgery
  • Robotic surgery

Laparoscopic and robotic surgery are minimally invasive surgeries that can be employed to operate upon incisional hernias that are small with a transverse diameter of less than 10 cm.

Open surgery is advisable for incisional hernias that have more than 10 cm of transverse diameter.

In incisional hernia surgeries, the incision site is reopened and a mesh is placed for a few centimeters more than the hernia diameter size to prevent the hernia from recurring.

You do not have to be afraid about surgeries hindering your routine because you can fully recover from the surgery within two months given the latest advancements in surgical techniques. Minimally invasive surgeries are found to cause less pain and yield faster recovery rates.

Are there Non-surgical Options Available to Cure Incisional Hernia?

There are no non-surgical options available to completely cure an incisional hernia.

Your healthcare provider may prescribe medications to treat the side effects of an incisional hernia but there is no definite medicine that can reposition the displaced abdomen content in its original place.

If the incisional hernia is small and painless, you can choose to manage it without surgery.


Operating on a surgical wound again for incisional hernia repair can be discouraging. However, it is best to repair the incisional hernia to prevent adverse cases.

The most common cause for incisional hernia to occur is the weak surgical incision spot on the abdomen. So, incorporate a protein-rich diet to strengthen the abdominal muscle tone.

Choose elective incisional hernia surgery as it is the wise choice you can make to prevent the worsening of the hernia.

Consult a hernia specialist to equip yourself with knowledge about the need for incisional hernia surgery and the surgical options available.


1) What happens if an incisional hernia is left untreated?

Incisional hernias that do not affect the health and functions of the body can be left untreated. In the case of incisional hernias that are obstructed or strangulated, there is a possibility of death. So, treat an incisional hernia as quickly as possible.

2) Is an incisional hernia serious?

Yes, an incisional hernia is serious when it gets incarcerated or strangulated. An incisional hernia can hurt your site of incision as well leading to more tearing and bleeding.

3) How do they fix an incisional hernia?

An incisional hernia can be fixed through surgeries. Laparoscopic surgery, open surgery, and robotic surgery options are available to treat the incisional hernia. The incision site is reopened and a mesh is placed to prevent the hernia from recurring.

Dr. K. Amilthan MBBS., MS., FMAS., FALS.

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