Incisional hernias can occur after surgery on the abdominal wall. Often a recurrent hernia needs to be repaired differently to prevent the recurrence of the hernia again. Just as important are patient factors that need to be controlled such as weight, protein intake, and cessation of smoking if the patient is a smoker.
If there are multiple hernias of the abdominal wall, it is often advantageous to the surgeons, both general surgeon and plastic and reconstructive surgeon to create adequate and wide exposure of all hernias to allow appropriate reconstruction. The wide exposure can also allow component separation to be performed to facilitate reconstruction of the abdominal wall musculature to create a dynamic abdominal wall.
The wide exposure creates a potential space that must be drained adequately post-operatively with drains. These drains can stay in for approximately 7 days to up to three weeks post-operatively. Proper protein intake in the post-operative period is important to optimize wound healing.