Pregnancy can be a wonderful journey as your body nurtures new life. People complement you on the healthy glow that radiates from within. Once your bundle of joy has been delivered, you may be looking forward to the next stages of motherhood. Unfortunately, some women may come across an unexpected bump in the road as they embark on the journey back to a slim and trim figure; a bump that can be quite painful and may require surgical correction.
A postpartum hernia is usually caused due to increased pressure on the abdominal wall because of the pregnancy. The stretched abdominal musculature may weaken in some areas and the inner abdominal lining, fat, or bowels may push through these areas causing a bulge under the skin. The weakening of the abdominal wall may be in the region of the umbilicus or in the region of the C-section incision.
A research study has estimated about 2 out of every 1,000 C-sections resulted in a hernia that needed to be surgically repaired within 10 years. As the study did not include vaginal deliveries and not all postpartum hernias need surgical correction, it is safe to assume the number of hernias occurring after pregnancy is greater than 2 every 1,000 pregnancies.
There is usually a visible bump at the site of the hernia. If the contents of the hernia can be pushed back into the abdominal cavity it is called a reducible hernia. The condition can become a medical emergency if the hernia cannot be reduced and the blood supply to the area becomes cut off. In such cases, you may also experience nausea, vomiting, constipation, fever, and blood in your stools.
Surgical repair effectively fixes the hernia. However, if your hernia is small and not causing any symptoms, your doctor may recommend a wait-and-watch approach, especially if you are planning to have future pregnancies. If you have noticed any signs of a hernia in your postpartum period, do contact us for a check-up and plan of action to put you back on your journey through the responsibilities and rewards of motherhood.
Dr. Marc Zaré specializes in minimally invasive surgery and believes that modern surgery should be innovative, non-invasive, and patient-centered. His mission is to provide every patient compassionate surgical care based on sound scientific evidence. With more than 12 years of experience in clinical practice, Dr. Zaré is considered to be a leader and one of the foremost experts of his field in Northern California. He is recognized for his surgical skills, clinical expertise, and superior outcomes.