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Ventral and Epigastric Hernias

A ventral hernia is a hernia which forms somewhere on the anterior abdominal wall. Although different, epigastric hernias and incisional hernias can also be grouped into ventral hernias and thus can be described below.

The basics of a ventral and epigastric hernia:

These types of hernias are similar to all other hernias in that they form due to weakening of the abdominal muscles. These hernias are located between the belly button or navel, and the lower part of the breast bone. Repair of these hernias is very common and can be done with open surgery or laparoscopic surgery techniques.

Epigastric Hernia

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Symptoms of a ventral or epigastric hernia:

Like most other hernias, pain in the abdomen is one of the most common symptoms. Also, due to the fat and intestines pushing through the hernia, a bulge can often form under the skin. This bulge can get bigger and smaller depending on what is in the hernia.

Over time, if the hernia gets large enough, the intestine can get permanently trapped, which can lead to damage to the intestine, as well as other symptoms like nausea, vomiting, and constipation.

Read more about symptoms HERE.

How are ventral hernias repaired?

Ventral hernias, epigastric hernias, as well as several other, are excellent candidates for laparoscopic hernia repair since the hole is usually large and is surrounded by weakened abdominal muscles.. Similar to an inguinal hernia, a camera is placed through the muscle into the abdomen along with two smaller punctures for the operating instruments. From there, any scar tissue between the intestine and the hernia is cut allowing complete exposure of the hole.

Laparoscopic Ventral Hernia Repair Laparoscopic Ventral Hernia Repair

A hernia mesh is rolled and placed through one of the laparoscopic ports into the abdomen. From there, it is pulled up against the muscle surrounding the hernia with stitches (sutures). Once the mesh is secured in place with about 4 sutures, a special stapling device is used to further fix the mesh to the healthy muscle.

Laparoscopic Ventral Hernia Repair Laparoscopic Ventral Hernia Repair Laparoscopic Ventral Hernia Repair

We perform a tension free mesh repair technique utilizing the latest mesh available. Mesh helps prevent recurrences after the hernia repair by strengthening the muscle around the hernia defect. Learn more HERE.

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About Ventral Hernias Video

Dr. Todd S. Harris explains what a ventral hernia is and a little about how they are treated.

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Important points to consider when choosing a hernia surgeon:

  • The newest, advanced lightweight mesh can reduce not only recurrence rates for hernias, but also reduces the chance of postoperative mesh pain to almost zero.

  • Being treated at a specialized hernia center with an in-house accredited ASC provides the highest quality care before, during, and after your hernia surgery.

  • Patients should be seen by a surgeon who can offer all forms of hernia surgery, including open lightweight mesh techniques, as well as advanced laparoscopic techniques. This ensures the surgeon can offer the best technique tailored for each patient.

  • Costs for uninsured patients are approximately $1500 for the surgeon fees, and $2000 for the surgery center fees (including OR time, materials, and recovery) for a total of approximately $3500.

  • Some laparoscopic patients experience less pain post-operatively and may be able to return to normal activities sooner (when compared to traditional hernia repair). Laparoscopic hernia surgery can result in better patient experiences for some patients.

  • Nuestra oficina habla español. Haga clic aquí para español.


Dr. Harris sees patients from all over Southern California, the greater US, and Canada. Our Newport Beach office is conveniently located in Central Orange county adjacent to John Wayne Airport between the 405, 73, and 55 highways.

Our office staff are experienced in verifying insurance coverage for each patient, as well as offering excellent pricing for patients without insurance (see costs above). We are happy to discuss all forms of payments with patients as needed.

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