5 doctors weighed in:

Why is my incision bulging? I had my 10th rib removed due to a "rib deformity acquired", though there was no injury. I woke up one morning after having gone to bed feeling fine, and had a rib sticking out of my stomach. Now, after having the rib removed

5 doctors weighed in
Dr. Heidi Fowler
Psychiatry
2 doctors agree

In brief: I

I can not make a diagnosis.
Sometimes after surgery, the abdominal muscles may be weak in the area that the surgeon cut open. Because of the hole or weakness, you can see a bulge if internal organs or fat protrude trhough it. You would be most apt to see a bulge if you are bearing down (like coughing hard or lifting something heavy). This is called an incisional hernia. You need to contact your surgeon and notify him about your bulge. You need to get emergency care if you are not able to gently push the bulge back through the hole and if the area becomes painful, you develop a fever or you start vomiting. The danger is that if a piece of one of your organs (like your intestine) protrudes out of a hernia and gets stuck there, it could get off from it's blood supply and the tissue could die. That would be very serious. Take care and let your surgeon know.

In brief: I

I can not make a diagnosis.
Sometimes after surgery, the abdominal muscles may be weak in the area that the surgeon cut open. Because of the hole or weakness, you can see a bulge if internal organs or fat protrude trhough it. You would be most apt to see a bulge if you are bearing down (like coughing hard or lifting something heavy). This is called an incisional hernia. You need to contact your surgeon and notify him about your bulge. You need to get emergency care if you are not able to gently push the bulge back through the hole and if the area becomes painful, you develop a fever or you start vomiting. The danger is that if a piece of one of your organs (like your intestine) protrudes out of a hernia and gets stuck there, it could get off from it's blood supply and the tissue could die. That would be very serious. Take care and let your surgeon know.
Dr. Heidi Fowler
Dr. Heidi Fowler
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Dr. Peter Lydon
Surgery

In brief: This

This is likely normal post op healing.
As the wound heals, the tissue gets firm over the first couple of weeks and can give a distinct bulge. This will totally resolve over 4 to 6 weeks.

In brief: This

This is likely normal post op healing.
As the wound heals, the tissue gets firm over the first couple of weeks and can give a distinct bulge. This will totally resolve over 4 to 6 weeks.
Dr. Peter Lydon
Dr. Peter Lydon
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In brief: Without

Without having an examination, it is hard to tell.
It is also hard to tell what caused your condition that required rib removal surgery. Often, after rib removal, there can be a resulting "weakness" that may not be a hernia. Sometimes the tissues are all intact, but there is a bulge with straining because the supporting structure (rib) is no longer present and the region just pushes out. Sometimes it is also related to loss of nerve function to that muscle region. A true hernia is a hole in the abdominal wall, you could just have a muscle weakness and bulge without a "hole" in the abdominal wall. It depends on how long ago your surgery was too, as sometimes the bulge is a temporary process that does resolve with healing and muscle strengthening in the region.

In brief: Without

Without having an examination, it is hard to tell.
It is also hard to tell what caused your condition that required rib removal surgery. Often, after rib removal, there can be a resulting "weakness" that may not be a hernia. Sometimes the tissues are all intact, but there is a bulge with straining because the supporting structure (rib) is no longer present and the region just pushes out. Sometimes it is also related to loss of nerve function to that muscle region. A true hernia is a hole in the abdominal wall, you could just have a muscle weakness and bulge without a "hole" in the abdominal wall. It depends on how long ago your surgery was too, as sometimes the bulge is a temporary process that does resolve with healing and muscle strengthening in the region.
Dr. Mark Hoepfner
Dr. Mark Hoepfner
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