The primary purpose and goals of a tummy tuck or abdominoplasty are to remove excess skin and fat. This most commonly occurs in women or men who have had significant weight loss. For women, this can also be in relation to multiple pregnancies. Also, in addition, skin and fat removal, or weaknesses in the abdominal wall or the belly button can occur. These weaknesses are called hernias.
Hernia Repair with Tummy Tuck
Hernias can be very dangerous if any of the internal abdominal organs become trapped within the hernia sack. Therefore, when I perform a tummy tuck, I also evaluate the patient for the presence of one or more of these hernias. If the hernia is in the midline above the belly button or anywhere in the upper abdominal wall it is considered a ventral hernia. These can be repaired directly. Or, if very large with a mesh material at the same time as the tummy tuck. More commonly, the hernia will be umbilical. And, this repair can also take place at the same time as the tummy tuck.
Less commonly, if the patient has had previous abdominal surgery with an associated large scar, there may be a hernia at this site. This type of hernia is an incisional hernia. This repair can also be done at the same time as the tummy tuck. Recurrence may occur especially if post-operative instructions are not followed.