Hernia after hysterectomy (incisional hernia after hysterectomy)

Hernia after hysterectomy is a relatively uncommon side effect of an abdominal hysterectomy. Also known as an incisional hernia it occurs because the abdominal cut weakens the muscles in the surrounding area. This creates a tender and painful bulge in the muscles surrounding the area.

What causes hernia after hysterectomy?

They are more likely to occur in those patients who are overweight or who have a history of repeated abdominal surgery, such as laparascopic investigations. Other causes of a incisional hernia after hysterectomy can be lifting things that are too heavy during the recovery period. This is because the abdominal scar is at it’s weakest when it is still healing. Therefore most occur within three to six months of the surgery taking place; this is another good reason why women need to avoid doing too much too soon after surgery.

How do I know if I have a hernia after hysterectomy?

Sometimes it can be difficult to diagnose an incisional hernia, this is because it can appear to come and go, often only being noticeable when sneezing, straining when on the toilet or  lifting things that are too heavy, in fact anything that increases pressure in the abdomen can potentially cause this problem.

What treatment is there for a hernia after hysterectomy?

Normally there are two options for treatment. The first is to wear a support garment of some description such as a truss which applies consistent pressure to the hernia. This is normally only available when the hernia is causing little discomfort.

The second option is surgery and this involves the hernia being replaced back in its correct position in the abdominal cavity before the muscle is repaired either with stitches (if it is small) or with a mesh graft.

(Image courtesy of Stephen Oleksiak (wikipedia).

What self help is available to prevent a hernia after hysterectomy?

Perhaps the most important part of self help is to avoid lifting anything that is too heavy during the first few months after a hysterectomy. However, the concept of ‘heavy’ will vary from woman to woman and will depend on initial levels of fitness before surgery. In many cases a cautious approach is probably advisable, for instance only adding enough water for one cup of tea to a kettle. Remember, if it pulls or is painful then that’s the time to stop whatever it is you’re doing.

Secondly, you can improve your posture and protect your stomach by wearing the right sort of undies. Support panties or abdominal support bands are perfect for helping you do this and you can find those in our online shop if you’re interested.

You can find out more information about incisional hernia by clicking here.

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  1. I had a hysterectomy that saved my life but after the surgery I have never been the same I have this nagging pain in my right abdomen it causes mucus to build up in my stomach and lots of tightness around my incision area and inside is it normal to feel stinging pains inside after two years past since my surgery?

  2. Hi, I had a radical hysterectomy for uterine cancer in May of this year. I had a small abdominal hernia that never caused problems. Six months post op, I have a very big and painful incisional hernia in that area. The surgeon prefers not to operate but rather wait and monitor. Very painful. Go ahead with your hysterectomy if required! Just be advised that this can happen.

  3. oh i did develop a hernia, at this time i have to go for a Cat Scan to see where i stand with it.

  4. If you need a hysterectomy then by all means do whats best for you. I had ovarian cancer, and other issues down there. My hysterectomy saved my life and I do not miss none of what was taken. I was very blessed, no chemo or radiation . after months of recovery I’m still recovering and has to take each day as it comes and keep my follow up appointments

  5. Hi there Ruth,
    Had a hysterectomy for endometriosis 25 years ago complications at time !! 5 years ago a marshmallow size lump appeared in groin had a hernia op scar tissue surgeon struggled to find enough of me to sew back together more complications numbness I always feel tight the scar is lumpy not flat itchy & some pain on hip bone random. Now over past 18 months bladder issues can’t stop unrinating at one point 35 times a day large amounts wether I drink or not up 7 times during the night,drink 500ml of fluids daily, lots of pushing pressure from my bladder. Had camera, now on tablets and cream for vagina lots of infections. no HRT.Tablets have bad side affect & do bugger all stopped taking them. I’ve just had a thought could all of this be scar tissue ?

  6. Can internal hernias be the result of a botched hysterectomy? I was left with three internal hernias after mine. They were not there before. I have had 4 operations since surgery and now I walk with a stick because I have so much damaged scar tissue my groin has never been the same.

  7. I have similar pain and swollen belly still following hysterectomy in March. GP thinks it may be either a hernia or a problem with the internal stitches. Has referred me for a scan to see and also back to surgeon for further discussion. Worth getting it checked out.

  8. In had my surgery in 2013 I went into the hospital for kidney stones and the scanner thing showed in had an umbilical hernia and there is a surgical clip right next to it.

  9. I had a hysterectomy removing he uterus, cervix and one ovary. I don’t have any side effects except a weak flabby stomach. They made an incision like a C section but did not cut the muscles. They pushed them aside and put them back. I may have a small hernia on my left side since I work all day as a cashier.

  10. I have had 3 abdominal surgeries in 8 months, hysterectomy, keyhole to investigate pain then open surgery again to have mass adhesions removed, my last surgery was 3 months ago, I was woken during the night with very sore tummy, in the centre below my belly button, it feels like a dint can’t touch it also hurts when I walk. Any ideas please.

  11. I am due to have a hysterectomy in a few weeks. I have a small abdominal hernia which has never caused me any problems, will it be effected by the hysterectomy