What is a ventral hernia?
A ventral hernia is a bulge of tissues through an opening of weakness within your abdominal wall muscles. It can occur at any location on your abdominal wall. They may also be referred to as incisional hernias because they form at the healed site of past surgical incisions. Dr. Olaya does not repair inguinal, femoral, epigastric or hiatal hernias.
How will Dr. Olaya repair my ventral hernia
Dr. Olaya uses an open approach procedure to close the opening in the abdominal wall with multiple layers of sutures and sometimes STRATTICE. STRATTICE is a reconstructive tissue matrix that is used to patch and reinforce the damaged and weak area. After repairing the hernia most patients will require an abdominal wall reconstruction, in which excess skin and soft tissue are excised, resulting in a more tight, narrow abdomen. This procedure is different from a panniculectomy in which only the pannus, the dense layer of fatty tissue in the lower abdominal region, is removed. Panniculectomies do not tighten the abdominal muscle. Dr. Olaya does not do laparoscopic surgeries, if this is a requirement for your preferred procedure please ask your primary doctor for a referral to a different surgeon.
What should I expect after surgery?
After your surgery you will have two drains that will remain in place for at least a week or two, possibly more depending on the output. You will be asked to wear an abdominal binder 24 hours a day for the first six to eight weeks and to follow lifting and bending restrictions, this is important to protect your incision, prevent a seroma from developing, and allow your abdomen to heal without putting extra stress or strain on your repair. Patients will be expected to come to the office for weekly follow ups for the first several of weeks, but as you heal appointments can be less frequent and further apart.
How long is the recovery time for a ventral hernia repair and abdominal wall reconstruction?
Recovery time is patient dependent. Most patients’ skin and tissue heal within six to eight weeks and they are able to increase their physical activity slowly from that point. It may take up to three months for patients to regain their endurance and muscle tone to what it was prior to surgery.