Flank hernias are incisional hernias on the sides of the abdominal wall, and not in the midline. Many of these incisions occur due to surgeries on the kidneys, gallbladder, liver, kidney or liver transplantation, or even spine surgery. Like the repairs of midline incisional hernias, the repairs are painful immediately after surgery, and therefore require several days in the hospital to treat the pain. A prosthetic mesh is used to reduce suture pull through and lower the chance of recurrence. The surgery takes about two hours to complete.
While there is much pessimism in the surgical literature regarding these hernias, Dr. Dumanian recently reviewed his cases. With a mean follow-up of two years after repair, 28 of 31 patients have healed well and without a hernia recurrence. One patient in the group had a small hernia recurrence that has not been repaired, and two patients had asymptomatic bulges without hernias. The overall success rate is over 90% for these flank hernias. Only one patient went back to the operating room for the cosmetic removal of skin and smoothing of the incision. There were no significant wound complications or medical complications. This collection of patients is being analyzed currently and the data is getting readied for submission in a paper on the topic of flank hernias and their repair.