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Incision Hernia Symptoms

author image Rae Uddin
Rae Uddin has worked as a freelance writer and editor since 2004. She specializes in scientific journalism and medical and technical writing. Her work has appeared in various online publications. Uddin earned her Master of Science in integrated biomedical sciences with an emphasis in molecular and cellular biochemistry from the University of Kentucky College of Medicine.
Incision Hernia Symptoms
Surgeon performing an operation Photo Credit: Medioimages/Photodisc/Photodisc/Getty Images

An incisional hernia is a medical condition in which the intestine protrudes through an incision within the abdominal wall following abdominal surgery. This condition is caused by the deterioration of scar tissue, which creates a weak point within the abdominal wall. An incisional hernia only affects people who have had prior abdominal surgery and occurrs most frequently in obese or pregnant individuals. Surgery may be necessary to resolve this medical condition.

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Abdominal Mass

The most common symptom of an incisional hernia is the development of an abdominal mass or bulge, according to the Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center. This bulge occurs at the site of a prior surgical scar—typically within the abdominal cavity. While an incisional hernia may appear shortly following surgery this medical condition more frequently develops several years after surgery. Certain patients with incisional hernias may find that the protrusion disappears when he is lying down, but reappears once he stands up. If you develop an abdominal mass, be sure to contact your doctor as soon as possible.

Abdominal or Groin Pain

If you have an incisional hernia you may experience mild tenderness or pain at the site of the abdominal protrusion, according to MedlinePlus. The skin around the protrusion may also appear irritated or inflamed. According to the Merck Manuals Online Medical Library, in certain cases, patients with an incisional hernia may not experience any additional discomfort or pain. If you feel severe abdominal pain, contact a medical professional as soon as possible to prevent further complications.

Stomach Discomfort

Patients with an incisional hernia may experience gastrointestinal symptoms, according to the Hershey Medical Center. Such symptoms may include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or constipation. The development of severe gastrointestinal symptoms may indicate that the hernia has become strangulated—a potentially life-threatening condition if left untreated. If you develop gastrointestinal symptoms in conjunction with an abdominal mass or pain, be sure to seek medical care as soon as possible to prevent additional complications.

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