Incarcerated Ventral Hernia

Ray Ballinger, MD, PhD

Straub Clinic and Hospital

rballinger at


72 y/o female with abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting. Patient has a history of resected sigmoid carcinoma 2 years prior. She admits to intermittent anterior abdominal wall pain and swelling for several months.


CT abdomen

Publication Date: 31 October 2003
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History and Images

72 y/o female with abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting.

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A loop of ileum containing oral contrast material is seen exending into an incisional ventral hernia. The bowel wall is mildly edematous with a narrow neck. Very little contrast passes distally.


Incarcerated Ventral Hernia with early bowel obstruction


Herniation through the anterior abdominal wall is frequently associated with prior surgery where the hernia occurs through the old incisional site as in this case. If the hernia cannot be reduced, it is called incarcerated and may result in bowel obstruction and possible strangulation or loss of blood supply to the herniated bowel. These latter finding require urgent surgical reduction to prevent morbidity and mortality.