WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW:
A ventral hernia is a bulge through an abnormal opening in the wall of your abdominal muscles. The bulge is often part of your intestine, but it may also be tissue or fat. There are three common types of ventral hernias. An incisional hernia occurs where you have had a surgical cut. An epigastric hernia occurs above your belly button. A spigelian hernia occurs on the side of your abdomen.
AFTER YOU LEAVE:
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) medicine may decrease swelling and pain or fever. This medicine can be bought with or without a doctor's order. This medicine can cause stomach bleeding or kidney problems in certain people. If you take blood thinner medicine, always ask your primary healthcare provider if NSAIDs are safe for you. Always read the medicine label and follow the directions on it before using this medicine.
- Take your medicine as directed. Call your primary healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.
Follow up with your primary healthcare provider as directed:
Your primary healthcare provider (PHP) may need to check to make sure your ventral hernia has not returned. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.
Prevent another ventral hernia:
- Do not lift heavy objects until your PHP says it is okay.
- You may need to wear a support belt or girdle. Ask for more information about support clothing.
- Your PHP may suggest that you do exercises to strengthen your abdomen. Swimming and walking may also help. Ask your PHP for an exercise plan. Do not exercise more than your PHP says is okay.
- Ask your PHP when it is okay to return to your normal daily activities.
- Follow your PHP's advice about losing weight. If you are overweight, ask for a diet plan that is right for you.
- Avoid straining when you cough, urinate, or have a bowel movement. Ask your PHP for ways to avoid straining.
Contact your primary healthcare provider if:
- You have vomited.
- You are urinating very little or not at all.
- You are constipated.
- You have swelling, bleeding, or pus near your wound.
- You have questions or concerns about your hernia, treatment, or care.
Seek care immediately or call 911 if:
- You have a fever.
- Your abdomen is suddenly very hard.
- You have pain in your abdomen or back that does not go away, even after you take pain medicine.
- You have bleeding from your wound that does not stop.
- You have sudden difficulty breathing.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.