Recurrent hernias involve the reappearance of the hernia defect after a previous repair. They do not refer to new or separate hernias that form in a different area of the abdomen. Hernia recurrence is less common with a mesh-based hernia repair (1-3%). They’re more common when the hernia has been repaired using a non-mesh surgical repair (15+%). We do not yet have significant long-term data for recurrence rates of absorbable mesh.
By definition, patients experiencing a recurrent hernia have had an initial hernia repair before. They will, therefore, recognize the signs and symptoms of a recurrent hernia, which are very similar to the original hernia – a lump which may or may not be accompanied by pain.
The causes of hernia recurrence very significantly and can include
We almost always repair a recurrent hernia with the laparoscopic or robotic surgical approach. Sometimes, due to a complex repair or multiple recurrences, rebuilding the abdominal wall may be necessary. This is usually performed in conjunction with a specialized reconstructive surgeon. And while prevention is best, by minimizing pressure on the abdomen and improving lifestyle considerations, there are times that a recurrence is unavoidable. No matter what causes the recurrence, employing a highly skilled and experienced surgeon to perform the follow-on surgery is critically important as it can be more complex that the primary hernia surgery was.