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Re-herniated 8 weeks after surgery

I had laparoscopic umbilical hernia repair 8 weeks ago after being hospitalized for an incarcerated hernia. The surgeon said he discovered what he called a "swiss cheese" hernia, with lots of little fissures, so he used a 17" x 14" mesh to cover the entire abdominal wall. Recovery was relatively quick and pain-free, and I returned to normal activities within 2 weeks.

This past weekend, however, I noticed a large bulge in the same area as the original hernia. My PCP confirmed that I had re-herniated. I'm in no pain. How could this have happened with all that mesh? Is there still a chance of an incarcerated hernia? I don't want to go through that again, but I also don't want more surgery. Right now I'm scheduled to see the surgeon on 7/30.
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replied July 19th, 2010
The bluge may also represent a collection of fluid that is filling up the space between the mesh and the skin (seroma), as this is rather common following laparoscopic repair of large hernias (in most cases, this fluid is reabsorbed by the body in 6 to 8 weeks).

While early recurrence of hernias following repair does occur, it is uncommon. Ultimately, your surgeon will have to examine you and decide if this is a seroma versus a recurrence of your hernia (in some cases, this may require an ultrasound or CT scan or MRI scan to be sure there is no hernia recurrence).

Sincerely/ Robert A. Wascher, MD, FACS

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