Incisional hernias occur in 15% to 20% of patients after a prior operation. If a first time incisional hernia is repaired with suture only, the recurrence rate is 50%. For a recurrent incisonal hernia, repaired by suture only, the recurrence rate is 80%. That is why almost all incisional hernias require mesh for repair.
Simplistically, large incisional hernias are repaired by open technique or laparoscopically. The type of mesh, the positioning of that mesh in the abdominal wall, and the type of fixation make the planning for repair more complex.
Patients can expect to stay 3 – 5 days in the hospital and can expect an additional recovery of 2 – 6 weeks despite no activity or lifting restrictions post operatively. Patients may return to work within one to two weeks with an expected full recovery of 2 -6 weeks.