GP Q&A: hernia corset

Dr David Roche / 03 December 2014

Saga Magazine's GP answers a question about where to buy a hernia corset.

Hernia corset

My husband, 76, has a large incisional hernia (following a successful bowel cancer operation two years ago) and looks nine months pregnant.

His consultant feels the risks of operating on it are too high and suggested a tailor-made corset to support the hernia.

Where can we get one? Our local hospitals, Epsom and St Helier, no longer provide this service. I’ve rung various hospitals – and Bupa – without success.

Dr Roche writes

An incisional hernia occurs when a weakness develops in the muscle layers in an abdominal scar. The muscle layers normally retain the abdominal contents, when these split apart the abdominal contents, the intestines, push through and lie under the skin.  As you point out this can be large and unsightly. Surgical correction can be very difficult, recurrence rates are high and not everyone is fit enough to safely undergo the operation.

Many patients just put up with the problem, or use clothing which can help to conceal the hernia or restrain it in some way. Tailor-made corsets are less commonly used but can help, some find them very uncomfortable to wear.

Initially I would contact the surgeon who made the recommendation of the corset. He or she is likely to know where the corset can be manufactured, even if it is not available from the hospitals in your area.

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