The abdominal wall holds in and protects the inner organs of the abdominal cavity (peritoneum). It is made up of several layers of tissue, including skin, fat and connective tissue, muscles, tendons, the peritoneal membrane. When there is a weakness in the tissue or muscle, an organ or other structure can bulge out and cause a lump under the skin. Abdominal wall reconstruction is a complex, comprehensive surgery to correct weaknesses or defects in these many layers. Abdominal wall defects may be the result of a failed prior attempt at closure, recurring hernias, traumatic injury, infection and the effects of radiation therapy or tumor removal.
CHI Health also offers options for reconstruction surgery to improve the aesthetic appearance of this region after an initial procedure. Our team of physician specialists and staff members have the experience and expertise to manage complex abdominal wall defects. Our program unites expert surgeons from several specialty areas, including: general surgery, gastrointestinal surgery, surgical oncology, abdominal wall reconstruction and plastic surgery.
The abdominal wall reconstruction program offers a team of hernia surgeons dedicated to the repair of abdominal wall hernias.
An abdominal wall hernia occurs when the intestine or their surrounding connective tissue (fascia), bulges out through a tear or area of weakness in the abdominal cavity (peritoneum). There are several causes for abdominal wall hernias, but most often they occur at a previous surgical incision site, including a cesarean section (c-section). Types of hernias include:
- Femoral hernia is a bulge in the upper thigh, just below the groin. This type is more common in women than men.
- Hiatal hernia occurs in the upper part of the stomach which pushes into the chest.
- Umbilical hernia appears as a bulge around the belly button.
- Inguinal hernia is a bulge in the groin. It is more common in men and may extend into the scrotum.
- Incision wall hernias or port site hernias associated with the laparoscopic adjustable gastric bands
Surgery is the only treatment that can permanently repair a hernia, however, you may be a candidate for an innovative, minimally-invasive robotic surgery. Benefits over traditional and laparoscopic surgery include:
- Quicker recovery and return to normal activities
- Significantly less pain
- Reduced blood loss and risk of infection
- Shorter hospital stay
- Small incisions for minimal scarring
Patients with abdominal cancer often have had multiple surgeries and would benefit from abdominal wall reconstruction. These cancers include:
- Peritoneal Mesothelioma
- Appendix Cancer (Pseudomyxoma peritonei)
- Malignant Melanoma
Abdominal wall surgery also benefits patients who have been treated with Intraperitoneal Heated Chemotherapy (HIPC) following de-bulking surgery to reduce the size of ovarian, pancreatic, colorectal, gastric and liver tumors.
Treatment and Consultation Services
The science of abdominal wall surgery has evolved greatly over the past 10 years. There are now so many surgical methods that it can be difficult for surgeons to determine the best method. The risks and benefits of laparoscopic versus open surgery must be assessed for each patient to ensure the best outcome. The Abdominal Wall Reconstruction program can assume care for patients if the treating physicians prefers. We also welcome the opportunity to provide consultation services to surgeons for patients who would prefer to have surgery in their local hospital, closer to friends and family.
Pioneering the Best Surgical Solutions for Patients
The Abdominal Wall Reconstruction medical team has been involved in developing specific instruments and techniques for the surgical repair of hernias. Additionally, the team conducts ongoing research and clinical trials to further the progress of abdominal wall repair, including closure technologies to reduce pain and infection, and prosthetic materials to provide better support at the surgical site.
For more information about the Abdominal Wall Reconstruction and Hernia Repair or to request a consultation with our medical staff, please call (402) 717-4836.