Spigelian Hernia

What is a spigelian hernia?

A spigelian hernia is a uncommon type of hernia that occurs just outside the edge of the six pack (rectus) muscle and in the mid to lower abdomen.

What are common symptoms?

Spigelian hernias can be hard to diagnose because not all layers of the abdominal wall are weakened – this results in bulges being INFREQUENT. Instead, pain is frequently located at the same site on the right or left where these hernias develop. Imaging studies such as CT scans and ultrasounds may sometimes miss it as well but can be pretty conclusive when they show it.

Should I have it fixed?

Yes, these defects are usually quite small, about dime sized and will continue to cause symptoms until fixed. Fortunately, they don’t normally get too large.

How do you fix spigelian hernias?

These are normally fixed using minimally invasive surgery, either laparoscopic or robotic instruments.

What is recovery like?

You normally go home after these procedures. You may shower the next day. The incisions are closed with dissolveable stitches underneath the skin and either skin glue that flakes off in 2-3 weeks OR miniature band aids that fall off in 2 weeks. We recommend not lifting greater than 20 pounds for 4 weeks to help prevent the hernia from coming back. We recommend standard walking and daily activities even the day of surgery as tolerated. Most patients need 3-5 days to feel reasonably functional with varying degrees of ability to work.

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