When a ventral hernia occurs, it usually shows up in the abdominal wall. The site where most ventral hernias occur are at the location of where a previous surgical incision was made. The reason that the ventral hernia appears in this area is because the abdominal muscles have weakened. As a result, a bulge or a tear will occur. If you need an example to help you understand how this scenario actually works, just think of how an inner tube pushes through a damaged tire (when you are applying this example, think of the inner lining of the abdomen pushes through the weakened area of the abdominal wall). As a result, a balloon-like sac is formed. The reason that ventral hernias can be so dangerous is because a loop of intestines or other abdominal contents can get pushed into the sac. If the abdominal contents get stuck within the sac, they can become trapped. This is a situation that could lead to potentially serious problems, and one that might require emergency surgery.
Fortunately, a ventral hernia does not have to get to the point described at the end of the paragraph above. Surgeons are actually able to perform a procedure called ventral hernia repair. Given that fact that close to one hundred thousand ventral hernia repair operations are performed in the United States each year, this has become a procedure that is not only fairly easy for surgeons to perform, but it also has a high success rate.
A ventral hernia repair procedure can be performed in the conventional open method or the laparoscopic method. Because your surgeon will be familiar with your specific case, he/she will be able to best decide which of these two methods is best for you.