A ventral hernia can occur in men and women of any age. This condition is often painful and creates irregular, unsightly abdominal contours. If you are suffering from a ventral hernia, the highly trained team of plastic and reconstructive surgeons at the UNC Aesthetic, Laser & Burn Center can help you correct this complex problem with surgical intervention.
A torn or weakened abdominal wall can result in the development of a ventral hernia or visible intestinal bulging in the abdomen or near the groin. With the complex ventral hernia repair procedure, abdominal tears or holes can be closed and weak muscles reinforced to alleviate hernia symptoms and correct and prevent intestinal bulging.
In some patients, ventral hernias develop over time due to gradual strain on the abdominal wall caused by pregnancy, obesity, frequent coughing or activities like heavy lifting. In others, a ventral hernia may be present at birth or occur suddenly, such as following an abdominal injury.
Any patient who experiences a ventral hernia can benefit from complex ventral hernia repair. Although the condition is usually not life-threatening, when left untreated ventral hernias may cause dangerous complications, such as trapping a portion of your intestines in the abdominal wall.
Depending on the type of ventral (abdominal) hernia you’re experiencing, the surgical methods used to treat the condition may vary. In general, hernia repair is performed while patients are under general anesthesia and involves either an open or laparoscopic technique. The primary difference between the two techniques is that laparoscopic hernia repair requires a smaller incision.
Your surgeon will carefully mend holes or tears in your abdominal muscles and reinforce weak areas using Strattice, a sterile sheet of tissue designed to encourage natural tissue growth, supplement existing support structures, and help prevent hernias. The surgeons at the UNC Aesthetic & Laser Center are uniquely qualified to perform complex ventral hernia repair with Strattice, as they participated in clinical trials for this procedure.
Most patients who undergo complex ventral hernia repair may return home the day of surgery with assistance; however, some will require an overnight hospital stay. After 24-48 hours, patients may shower but will need to adhere to activity restrictions, especially lifting restrictions, for several weeks until pain and soreness subside.
Contact the UNC Aesthetic, Laser & Burn Center for more information about complex ventral hernia repair or to schedule a consultation. Our caring and qualified staff proudly serve hernia patients in Chapel Hill, as well as those in the surrounding areas of Durham, Raleigh, Greensboro and Burlington.