What is a lumbar incisional hernia

What is a lumbar incisional hernia?

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A lumbar incisional hernia is a rare case of hernia. It occurs in the lumbar area in the lower back that is present on either side of the abdomen.

Lumbar incisional hernia is often misdiagnosed as a muscle atrophy with no fascial defect. Operating on a lumbar incisional hernia through surgery is difficult because of the complex surrounding structures in the lumbar region.

However, laparoscopic surgery is recommended to operate on a lumbar incisional hernia. There are modern surgical technologies available to perform lumber incisional hernia surgery. So, if you sense any symptoms of a lumbar incisional hernia, consult a hernia specialist to get it sorted out.

What is a Lumbar Incisional Hernia?

Lumbar incisional hernias occur due to the weak posterolateral abdominal wall that is caused by any previous surgical incisions.

A lumbar incisional hernia is characterized by the extraperitoneal and intraperitoneal contents protruding through the weak incision spot in the posterolateral abdominal wall.

A lumbar incisional hernia is rare and occurs mostly among men between 50 and 70 years of age.

Causes of Lumbar Incisional Hernia

Lumbar incisional hernias are caused by:

  • Opening of the incision from previous surgery
  • Obesity
  • Weak abdominal wall
  • Straining of the body, etc.

Symptoms of Lumbar Incisional Hernia

Symptoms that indicate the presence of a lumbar incisional hernia include

  • Pain in the lower back
  • Pain while coughing or straining
  • Pain through the back and the leg
  • Numbness of the leg
  • Abdominal cramping
  • Bulge in the area of pain

Treatment for Lumbar Incisional Hernia

Lumbar incisional hernia is complicated to be operated through surgery. This is because the lumbar region is surrounded by bones and structures that make surgical procedures difficult.

Still, laparoscopic surgery is prescribed most of the time to operate on a lumbar incisional hernia.

Lumbar incisional hernias do not require surgery if they are mild. So based on the severity of the hernia the need for surgery will be determined.

However, since the hernia can strangulate or incarcerate, it is best to electively operate on the lumbar incisional hernia.

Recovery from Lumbar Incisional Hernia

Recovery from a lumbar incisional hernia depends upon the surgery chosen to address the hernia.

Minimally invasive surgeries like laparoscopic and robotic surgeries provide faster recovery.

Open surgeries can prolong the time taken to recover.

How to Prevent Lumbar Incisional Hernia?

Lumbar incisional hernias are rare to occur. But, if you have had surgery in the lumbar region, you can prevent the possibility of a lumbar incisional hernia by:

  • Taking enough rest after an abdominal surgery
  • Taking high-protein foods to strengthen the abdominal wall
  • Not participating in strenuous physical activities
  • Quitting smoking, etc.


Lumbar incisional hernias are difficult to operate on. So, taking precautionary steps to prevent cases of lumbar incisional hernias is a wise thing to do.

Yet, if you sense any symptom of a lumbar incisional hernia, there are surgical options available to treat it. Consult a hernia specialist to diagnose and determine the choice of surgery that would best befit your case of lumbar incisional hernia. Also, avoid taking any over-the-counter medication to treat a lumbar incisional hernia.

To know more about lumbar incisional hernias and how to treat them, consult a hernia specialist.


1) How serious is a lumbar hernia?

Lumbar hernias are not serious as long as they are asymptomatic. But if they turn symptomatic, complications such as strangulation, obstruction, and incarceration arise.

2) How long does a lumbar hernia last?

Hernias last until repaired. You can manage a lumber hernia as long as it is mildly painful through medications. But if it gets complicated, you have to take up surgery.

3) Are lumbar hernias common?

Lumbar hernias are not common. They occur most of the time in men than in women.

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

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