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Note: ASAPS cannot give advice about specific medical problems nor should answers provided by responding surgeons be substituted for a complete medical history, work-up and an in-personal medical/surgical consultation. Sorry we can't answer all questions. We try to select questions that have the widest general interest.
While doing a tummy tuck, can an incisional hernia be repaired at the same time?
Previously I was surgically cut from just under my breast to my groin and have now developed a hernia there. Is it possible to have a tummy tuck at the same time the hernia is repaired? I also think I have a lot of scar tissue in the area. Would this surgery be more risky and what are the chances of a good result?
Hernia repairs are commonly performed at the time of Abdominoplasty. The exact type, location and extent of the hernia will determine whether it is safe for you to have these procedures combined.
Another question you may be considering is could your insurance carrier cover both procedures. The answer is most likely no. Some insurance carriers may cover the hernia repair. Others will disallow all charges if you have a combined reconstructive and aesthetic procedure.
Consider seeking out a consult with one of the members of the ASAPS in your area. They are experts in these areas of surgery and insurance coverage.
Gary R. Culbertson, MD, FACS
Hernia repair is commonly repaired with an abdominoplasty. However there are many issues that need to be looked at before that decision is made.
What was the problem that required you having an incision from the upper abdomen to the groin?
How big is the hernia? What are the contents of the hernia? Is there any bowel in the hernia? A cat scan will give the answer.
It must be decided if you need to involve a general surgeon or not. Although most plastic surgeons are fully trained as general surgeons, if bowels are in the hernia and there are adhesions, one may want to involve a general surgeon and have the option of not doing the abdominoplasty if the bowels are nicked and need repair.
Consult your plastic surgeon and a general surgeon and listen to all the options and the risks, then make an informed decision.
The abdominoplasty is NOT covered by insurance carriers under any circumstances; even if they pre-approve it they will NOT pay for it.
Yes, very often these two procedures are done at the same time. Surgery can be coordinated between a general surgeon and a plastic surgeon to perform the operation in one go, thus removing the additional down-time and surgery time a second surgery.
Costs may be lower as well since a portion of the OR/Anesthesia cost may be covered (but this is highly variable from center to center and from insurance to insurance).
Operations that are commonly combined are gynecologic ones such as hysterectomy and general surgery operations such as a hernia repair. However, depending on the extent of the hernia, be prepared for a plastic surgeon to decline performing those together if the risk of complications or infection from a severe hernia makes it unacceptable.
We want to minimize down time for patients, but above all, it is not helpful to save time if the risks are too high. I recommend making an appointment with a board-certified plastic surgeon and a board-certified general surgeon to assess your individual needs.
A hernia repair can be performed at the same time as a tummy tuck. Your plastic surgeon may be able to do both or may have the hernia repaired by a General Surgeon during the same procedure. This depends on the size of the hernia, the need for mesh and your plastic surgeon's comfort level with repairing incisional hernias. Your plastic surgeon may refer you to a general surgeon colleague for an examination prior to surgery. The hernia portion of the surgery may even be covered by your health insurance.
Incisional Hernia Repair and Tummy Tuck – It is quite common to repair an incisional hernia at the same time as a tummy tuck. However, if it is a large hernia or recurrent hernia, I usually involve your general surgeon as well.