in medicine, a device to prevent the abdominal wall from stretching (in pregnant patients or patients with a weak stomach wall), to support the abdominal organs (such as the stomach, intestine, and kidneys) when they prolapse, and to cover openings of abdominal hernias. The construction of the bandage varies with the purpose. Bandages are made of metal plates, springs, or metal plates of different shapes with an attached soft cushion. The bandage is put on while the patient is lying down (pelvis higher than the shoulders); any hernia present is first reduced. It is worn all the time in cases of strangulated hernia. Prolonged wearing of a bandage weakens the abdominal walls. Light exercises and massage of the stomach muscles are prescribed in addition to wearing a bandage. In time the stomach walls may become strong and make it unnecessary to wear a bandage. Standard abdominal bandages are sold in drugstores. Individual bandages are made in prosthesis plants and shops.