A ventral hernia is a defect (i.e., a hole”) in the muscle of the abdomen. ”Ventral” means “front” and comes from a Latin word meaning “belly”. Incisional hernias are a type of ventral hernia occurring in an area of a precious incision.
If there is a hole in the muscle of the abdomen, things that should be on the inside of the abdomen can push through the hole to the outside.
A big concern with hernias is that the blood supply to the portion of the body that is “pushed out” through the hole can lose its blood supply. This is called a strangulated hernia.
If tissue, such as intestine, loses its blood supply, then that tissue can die.
Strangulation of a hernia can be a life-threatening problem, and hernias should always be evaluated by a physician.