How To Treat Ventral Hernia? Its Causes, Symptoms And Diagnosis

Hernia most commonly affect the abdomen and are characterized by weakened abdominal wall which results in protrusion of the internal tissue outwards. While in most cases, hernia’s can be harmless, some form of hernias can be associated with severe pain and potential life threatening complications.

Ventral hernia is a form of abdominal hernia. The condition may either be a part of a developmental disorder or may be associated with failure of the abdominal wall to heal after a surgery.

This condition is characterized by bulging of abdominal content outward. In general the lump contains abdominal content like tissue, intestines, etc. The lump may disappear on lying down and reappear on getting up or when pressure is applied on the abdomen.

Causes Of Ventral Hernia

There are two primary causes for the development of ventral hernia,

  • Ventral hernia may appear as a developmental defect which may arise as a result of failure of the abdominal wall to close completely.
    Ventral hernia caused due to this factor is often apparent after early childhood and requires surgical intervention.
  • Ventral hernia may also be caused as a result of a major abdominal surgery. The abdominal incision may fail to heal over a period of time, resulting in ventral hernia. This form of hernia may appear soon after the surgery or may take several years to become apparent.

Ventral Hernia Symptoms

Some of the common symptoms associated with ventral hernia include the following,

  • Bulging of abdominal content which disappears on lying down and reappears either standing up or on apply pressure on the abdomen.
  • The condition may be associated with pain, due to obstruction of the gastrointestinal tract. Along with pain the patient may experience a host of other symptoms like nausea, vomiting and constipation.
  • In rare cases, the condition can be associated with strangulation of the intestinal content which may be a life threatening condition. Strangulation requires immediate hospitalization and surgical intervention to avoid death.
  • Occasionally ventral hernia may be associated with high grade fever, increased heart rate and profuse sweating, especially when the strangulation is associated with bacterial infection.

How To Diagnose And Treat Ventral Hernia?

Ventral hernia can be diagnosed primarily on physical examination. Typical symptoms of ventral hernia are often indicative of the development of the condition. The cough test is performed to confirm the diagnosis. The physician may ask the person to stand up and cough in order to observe a bulge around the abdominal region.

In cases the condition is associated with severe pain and strangulation is suspected- a CT scan may be performed in order to understand the extent of strangulation and damage to the intestinal tissue. While ultrasonography is usually not performed, in some cases, USG may also be helpful and indicative of ventral hernia.

Ventral Hernia Treatment

Use of abdominal support is often recommended in the management of ventral hernia. While using of abdominal support can be helpful in avoiding complications and alleviating the symptoms, avoiding strenuous activities, coughing, sneezing and straining while passing stools is also equally important.

Surgical intervention to treat complications of ventral hernia is inevitable, as most hernias will increase in size over time. There are different techniques of surgical repair of ventral hernia. The latest involves the use of laparoscopic repair technique, which is associated with faster healing and lower hospitalization time.