A hernia develops when an internal part of your body, such as an organ, pushes through a weak area in the surrounding muscle or tissue. Ventral hernias are hernias in the wall of your tummy. Tissue or part of your bowel, such as the intestine, pushes through weak surrounding tummy muscles and causes a lump or bulge. This lump may be painful, especially when you cough, bend over or lift a heavy object.
A natural weakness in your tummy muscles may cause a ventral hernia. It can be associated with ageing or repeated strain on the tummy. In other cases, you may get a hernia in an area of your tummy where you had a previous operation. This type of ventral hernia is called an incisional hernia. It happens when tissue pokes through a surgical wound in your tummy that has not fully healed. You may notice a lump or bulge near the scar left by the operation. If your hernia is painful or getting bigger, you may need a routine operation to repair it. A hernia does not get better on its own and can cause complications. An incisional hernia can be repaired using either standard open or keyhole (laparoscopic) surgery. Your surgeon will explain their experience and discuss which type of procedure suits you best.
If you have keyhole surgery, you are given a general anaesthetic. This means that you are asleep and do not feel any pain. The procedure is minimally invasive. Your surgeon makes several small cuts rather than one larger cut over the hernia. They insert a thin tube called a laparoscope, which contains a light and camera. This allows them to see inside your tummy. The surgeon uses special equipment to pull the part of your tummy causing the hernia back into place and remove any scar tissue. They then insert a piece of mesh material to strengthen the weak area in your tummy muscles. This mesh is attached to the muscles and greatly reduces the risk of another hernia. Finally, the small cuts in your skin are sealed with stitches or surgical glue.
Here at Highgate Private Hospital, we have an expert team of hernia repair consultants. We offer an all-inclusive self-pay package for hernia repair. Prices for keyhole (laparoscopic) surgery to repair a ventral or incisional hernia with a mesh and one follow-up appointment start from £2,797 (terms and conditions apply). For more information, please call our self-pay advisers on 020 3918 9463. You can find more details about hernia repair here.