What Is a Complex Ventral Hernia?
It is the protrusion (an action that an organ performs when it protrudes from its normal location) of the contents of the abdominal cavity through a defect in the anterolateral wall of the abdomen; it can be detected clinically or by imaging studies.
What Should I Do If I Have a Complex Ventral Hernia?
- Limit activities that cause pain, discomfort or include a great effort.
- Go to an urgent medical consultation.
- Surgical intervention is necessary.
Anterior abdominal wall hernias are a problem that affects approximately 11-20% of patients undergoing laparotomies. The severity of this problem is accentuated in patients with peritonitis, trauma and added medical problems.
What Symptoms Usually Occur?
- Chronic abdominal pain.
- Difficulty to move and perform the tasks of daily life.
- Back pain (lumbalgia, chest or thoracolumbar pain).
- Difficulty in sexual function.
- Current or potential respiratory failure.
- Social isolation.
- Psychological depression.
- Obesity or extreme thinness.
- Skin erosion in the hernia area or in skin fold areas.
- Adhesions of intestinal loops.
- Enterocutaneous or enteroenteral fistulas.
Many of these patients have difficulty walking, and sometimes they stay prostrated on an armchair or on a bed. Therefore, walking and exercising help them restore mobility and flexibility. Before surgery, these patients should be evaluated by a cardiologist and a pulmonologist, in order to assess whether the patient can stand that physical and dynamic change. A proper weight loss before surgery will facilitate the management of the abdominal panicle and the repositioning of the intestinal loops inside the abdominal cavity, in addition to causing the muscular closure to occur with less tension.
Weight loss also helps reduce cardiorespiratory risks and possible problems of abdominal compartment syndrome due to hyperpressure after wall closure. Abdominal wall hernias, and particularly COMPLEX HERNIAS, are a problem to be solved only by the surgeon specialized in abdominal wall reconstruction.