A ventral hernia is a kind of abdominal hernia in which a portion of the intestines or abdominal tissue pushes through a weak spot in the muscles of the abdominal wall. Ventral hernias often occur at the site of a previous surgery or incision, and when this happens they may be referred to as an incisional hernia. While some patients will not have symptoms stemming from a ventral hernia, others may experience pain in the location of the hernia; this pain might increase when lifting something heavy or upon standing. Other potential symptoms include nausea and vomiting and a physical bulge in the abdomen. Surgery is needed to repair a ventral or incisional hernia and avoid potentially life-threatening complications. Surgical options may include the placement of a surgical mesh material to keep the tissues from bulging through again, and laparoscopy and open surgical procedures in which the tissue is pushed back through the opening and the opening is then sewn shut.