Recurrent Hernia Vs Incisional Hernia

Recurrent Hernia Vs Incisional Hernia

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Hernia is the protrusion of the abdominal content through the weak spots in the abdominal wall.

Hernias are treated immediately most of the time to prevent any fatal consequences. However, there are chances for the repaired hernia to recur due to unfortunate reasons. The hernia that recurs is called a recurrent hernia.

Hernias can also occur in the abdominal sites of previous surgical scars. Such hernias are called incisional hernias.

Difference Between Recurrent Hernia and Incisional Hernia

Recurrent hernias can occur on any site of the body where a hernia had occurred earlier. It could be a recurrent umbilical hernia, inguinal hernia, femoral hernia, or incisional hernia.

Incisional hernias occur on the site of incisions from previous surgeries. Incision hernias are mostly ventral hernias.

Recurrent hernias occur in previous hernia sites. Incisional hernias occur in previous abdominal surgery sites.

Symptoms of Recurrent and Incisional Hernias

The symptoms of recurrent and incisional hernias are similar. Only the site where the symptoms appear differs between these two kinds of hernia.

Symptomatic recurrent and incisional hernias are to be treated as soon as possible to prevent strangulation or obstruction.

An obstructed hernia indicates a part of the bowel getting stuck in the hernia sac. Strangulation indicates the cut off of blood supply to the tissues of the organ caught in the hernia sac.

When the hernia gets complicated the pain increases accompanied by various discomforting symptoms.

Symptoms of Recurrent Hernia

Symptoms of a recurrent hernia include

  • Pain in the area of a past hernia
  • Bulging in or near the area of the hernia repair site of the body
  • Nausea
  • Bloating
  • Constipation
  • Vomiting

Symptoms of Incisional Hernia

Symptoms of an incisional hernia include

  • Pain or discomfort in the region of the abdomen with incision scar
  • Bulging in the incision area
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Bloating
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea

Causes of Recurrent and Incisional Hernia

Both recurrent and incisional hernias occur due to weak abdominal spots that did not strengthen after surgery. However, other factors contribute to the rise of recurrent and incisional hernias as well.

Causes of Recurrent Hernia

The risk factors for a recurrent hernia include

  • Obesity
  • Pregnancy after hernia surgery
  • Diabetes or renal
  • diseases
  • Smoking
  • Involvement in physically draining activities
  • Poor previous hernia repair

Causes of Incisional Hernia

The factors that cause incisional hernia include

  • Weak abdominal muscles
  • Chronic coughing
  • Constipation
  • Smoking
  • Unhealed abdominal surgery wounds
  • Infection or injury to abdominal incision wounds
  • Obesity
  • Diabetes or renal diseases
  • Involvement in physically strenuous activities

Treatment for Recurrent and Incisional Hernia

The treatment for any kind of hernia is surgery. It could be a minimally invasive laparoscopic surgery or open surgery.

Open hernia surgery is suggested in case of complicated recurrent and incisional hernias.

Ultimately, the site and severity of the hernia influence the choice of the surgery.

Treatment for Recurrent Hernia

In the case of a recurrent hernia, a hernia revision surgery will be suggested.

A recurrent hernia can cause much discomfort and pain. So, it is advisable to operate on the hernia electively before the rise of complications.

Treatment for Incisional Hernia

An incisional hernia can be operated through open and minimally invasive surgeries.

The choice of surgery depends upon the severity of the incisional hernia.

Recovery Time for Recurrent and Incisional Hernia

The recovery period for both recurrent and incisional hernia is based on factors such as:

  • Choice of surgery
  • Age of the patient
  • Health of the patient
  • Presence of other ailments, etc.

Minimally invasive surgeries ensure a faster recovery rate and less pain. Open surgeries may demand a longer recovery period.


Both recurrent and incisional hernias occur in a previously operated part of the body. A recurrent hernia can occur in any part of the body whereas an incisional hernia occurs in the abdominal region.

Recurrent and incisional hernias occur due to poor suturing during the previous surgery most of the time. So, it is wiser to get a hernia repair or any surgery from an experienced surgeon.

Also, many latest techniques have evolved in the field of hernia repair that minimize the recurrence of the hernias.

Get treated for hernia as early as possible to prevent painful and fatal complications.


1) What is another name for an incisional hernia?

Incisional hernias are also called ventral hernias as they appear on the front of the abdomen.

2) What is the difference between inguinal and incisional hernias?

An inguinal hernia occurs in the inguinal canal present in the inner thigh. An incisional hernia appears on the abdomen and is called a ventral hernia.

3) Does a recurrent hernia need surgery?

Recurrent hernia needs surgery to prevent complications such as pain, bleeding, and possible death.

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

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