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Ventral Hernia


A ventral hernia is a bulging of organs or abdominal tissue through a weak spot or opening in the abdominal wall. The abdominal wall is made up of fat and muscle. It holds the organs in place. The types of ventral hernias are epigastric, umbilical, spigelian, and incisional.


Informed consent

is a legal document that explains the tests, treatments, or procedures that you may need. Informed consent means you understand what will be done and can make decisions about what you want. You give your permission when you sign the consent form. You can have someone sign this form for you if you are not able to sign it. You have the right to understand your medical care in words you know. Before you sign the consent form, understand the risks and benefits of what will be done. Make sure all your questions are answered.


  • Antinausea medicine may be given to prevent or treat nausea.
  • Pain medicine may be given. Do not wait until the pain is severe before you ask for more medicine.
  • Sedative medicine may be given to help you relax. You may need this medicine before your healthcare provider manually reduces your hernia.
  • IV fluids may be given to treat or prevent dehydration.


  • An x-ray, ultrasound, MRI, or CT scan may show blockage in the intestines or lack of blood flow to organs. You may be given contrast liquid to help the organs show up better in the pictures. Tell the healthcare provider if you have ever had an allergic reaction to contrast liquid. Do not enter the MRI room with anything metal. Metal can cause serious injury. Tell a healthcare provider if you have any metal in or on your body.
  • Blood and urine tests will show your kidney function, information about your overall health, and may show signs of infection.


  • A nasogastric tube (NGT) may be inserted to relieve nausea and vomiting. An NGT is a thin tube that is inserted through your nose and into your stomach. The tube can remove fluid and air from your stomach.
  • Manual reduction of the hernia may be needed. Your healthcare provider will put firm, steady pressure on your hernia until it disappears inside the abdominal wall. You may need to wear a binder that holds the tissue in place.
  • Surgery may be needed if the hernia stops blood flow to any of the organs, causes a hole in the intestines, or blocks the intestines.


You may need surgery if the hernia becomes incarcerated or strangulated. Incarcerated means the hernia is trapped in an opening or pouch in the abdominal wall. The hernia cannot be pushed back inside of the abdominal wall. Strangulated means that the hernia is trapped without blood or oxygen. The trapped tissue may die. If the intestines are trapped, food and fluid cannot move through. Pressure may build up in the intestines and a hole may form. This can become life threatening.


You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your healthcare providers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment.

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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.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.