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Hello and thanks for trusting me to help you and your pet today. I am a licensed veterinarian with over 25 years experience and would be happy work with you.
Dehiscence refers to an incision line that has been sutured and has broken down so the the tissue edges are no longer apposed.
A hernia is a break in the body wall, but is due to either a separation of muscle of thbody wall or a congenital defect where the body wall never closed correctly during formation.
If the swelling was in proximity of the incision, I would expect it was a dehiscence. I suppose there could have been a adjacent hernia that was present and if the surgeon was not paying attention, could have missed it (especially if she was on her back and the omentum was not protruding, but if it was a non-reducible hernia, I don't know how it could have been missed. I suspect it was incision line breakdown.
I am happy to hear at least that it is all repaired now.
I hope this is helpful. Please let me know if you have ANY other questions. My goal is to give you 100% satisfaction and if you are not yet satisfied, please reply so I can clarify for you.
I don't know why she is choosing that particular wording. An incisional hernia could occur if the incision line was closed in a sloppy fashion and trapped the omentum in the cranial portion of the incision as it was closed. This scenario could occur without any breakdown of suture line and it sounds like that may be what happened versus a dehiscence where the suture line actually broke down and partially released. In either case, it is a big deal.
If you work with this shelter in the future, I would inquire if you could have the surgery performed by your vet as long as you brought back proof that it was done.
You are most welcome.