A ventral hernia is a bulge of tissues through an opening of weakness within your abdominal wall muscles. It can occur at any location on your abdominal wall.
Many are called incisional hernias because they form at the healed site of past surgical incisions. Here abdominal wall layers have become weak or thin, allowing for abdominal cavity contents to push through.
In a strangulated ventral hernia, intestinal tissue gets tightly caught within an opening in your abdominal wall. This tissue can’t be pushed back into your abdominal cavity, and its blood flow is cut off. This type of ventral hernia is an emergency requiring surgery.
Hernias can occur in other places of your body and are named after the location where they occur — for example, a femoral hernia occurs in your upper thigh.