Hernia After Back Surgery

How to Get Relief from Hernia Pain After Back Surgery

Following some back surgery procedures, such as an anterior lumbar spinal fusion in which the surgeon approaches the back through an incision in the abdomen, a small percentage of patients (about 15 percent) may experience an incisional hernia.

A hernia is a weak spot in the wall of the muscle surrounding the abdomen can result in tissue bulging through that weak spot. An incisional hernia occurs in the scar from the surgical incision. In most cases, incisional hernias occur within the first year after surgery.

Do You Have a Hernia?

If you can feel a soft lump in your stomach, groin or in a scar from a past surgery, you may have a hernia. If you press on the lump and it goes down, or you lie down and can no longer feel it, this is a good sign you have a hernia. Hernias can be painful at times, particularly when bending over, lifting something heavy or coughing.

What Causes an Incisional Hernia After Back Surgery?

In some spinal procedures, the surgeon will make an incision in the abdomen, and approach the spine through the front. While most surgical incisions from back surgery heal properly without compromising the abdominal wall, an incision that does not grow back together tightly can result in weakness in the abdominal wall. This weakness may allow tissue or parts of organs to bulge through the weakened area.

Your risk of developing an incisional hernia after back surgery depends primarily on the type of suturing technique used by the surgeon during surgery and the type of scar that results. Incisional hernias most often occur after an open abdominal surgery, a procedure in which a large incision is made in the abdominal wall. Patients who are older, have other medical conditions or a history of poor wound healing may have an increased risk of developing an incisional hernia after back surgery surgery. Additionally, patients who are overweight may also be at a higher risk due to the added pressure and strain on the weakened area in the abdominal wall.

How Can We Help?

Unfortunately, a hernia will not go away on its own and can only be resolved through surgery. Abdominal Surgery Specialists are are experts when it comes to repairing hernias and relieving the pain often associated with hernias. If you think you may have a hernia after having back surgery, contact us today to schedule an appointment. If the hernia is diagnosed early, it may make the surgical repair easier, shorten recovery time and decrease risk of recurrence.

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