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Ventral Hernia


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.



  • NSAIDs , such as ibuprofen, help decrease swelling, pain, and fever. This medicine is available with or without a doctor's order. NSAIDs can cause stomach bleeding or kidney problems in certain people. If you take blood thinner medicine, always ask your healthcare provider if NSAIDs are safe for you. Always read the medicine label and follow directions.
  • Take your medicine as directed. Call your 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 healthcare provider as directed:

Your healthcare provider 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 healthcare provider says it is okay.
  • You may need to wear a support belt or girdle. Ask for more information about support clothing.
  • Your healthcare provider may suggest that you do exercises to strengthen your abdomen. Swimming and walking may also help. Ask your healthcare provider for an exercise plan. Do not exercise more than your healthcare provider says is okay.
  • Ask your healthcare provider when it is okay to return to your normal daily activities.
  • Follow your healthcare provider'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 healthcare provider for ways to avoid straining.

Contact your 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.

© 2015 Truven Health Analytics Inc. Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or Truven Health Analytics.

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.