7 months ago a surgeon place a 8 in by 8in piece of mesh in my stomach to fix my ventral hernia and diastasis recti. I am feeling more and more pain around the edges of my mesh and down the middle my diastasis doesnt seem any better and it feels tender. The surgeon talked me into putting this mesh into my stomach and i am really regreting it. I wish i would have went to a plastic surgeon and had a tummy tuck. Is this still an option? what do i do?? Can i have the mesh removed?
Ventral Hernia Repair with Mesh Also Diastasis Recti?
Doctor Answers 8
Mesh Removal and Tummy tuck
I would definetely consult with a plastic surgeon. Diastasis repairs and tummy tucks are done as open surgeries and are not covered by insurance but a portion of the anesthesia may be covered because of the potential mesh removal and hernia repair and depending on your insurance. See your plastic surgeon for specifics about mesh removal....its not a small undertaking.
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Hernia with Mesh Repair - Can Mesh Be Removed?
The mesh can be removed. A component separation technique may be an option depending upon extent of hernia. Direct repair with plication is an option in smaller defects.
Depending on what type of mesh that was used this mesh can be removed and the diastasis can be repaired
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Repair of a ventral hernia during an abdominoplasty
Mesh has certainly been used for many years to correct a ventral hernia or diastasis recti. This condition, very common after pregnancies, is really a separation between the two paired rectus muscles and stretching of the linea alba. In your particular condition can most likely be improved with an abdominoplasty and a repair of the fascia from the bottom of your breast bone to the pubic bone. This is typically performed on every abdominoplasty. When presented with this problem mesh can be very difficult to completely remove since your soft tissue will grow in and around the material. The mesh is usually made from a nylon type material configured like a screen. Once wide exposure is created using the low transverse abdominoplasty incision the visible edges of the mesh can be excised and then a fascial repair can be performed in standard fashion. Your next step is to be examined by a plastic surgeon.
Better Option for Ventral Hernia Repair
Mesh has been used for ventral hernia repairs but has a high failure rate and is not a good treatment for a rectus diastasis. Although each patient is different, you may want to consider a hernia repair using the component separation technique (also know as the separation of parts) which uses your own abdominal muscles to repair the hernia (if it is still a problem). Mesh may be used for reinforcement. Clinical studies (as well as my own experience) have shown better outcomes of this technique then mesh alone. I have done tummy tucks at the same time as this hernia repair with good and long lasting results.
If your hernia repair is still good, then a tummy tuck with diastasis repair can still be done.
Can I have a Tummy Tuck after hernia repair
Different types of mesh are used effectively to repair weakness of the abdominal wall or separation of the muscles (diastasis). It may be that the tummy is large ( higher weight) or that the muscles are weak or supporting muscles are weak or that the abdominal wall strength after pregnancy did not return to normal. It may be possible to have a tummy tuck and reassess the mesh with a consultation with the plastic surgeon
Hernia Repair and Tummy Tuck
It is certainly possible to combine a hernia repair and tummy tuck. I personally never have used mesh an prefer to use the patient's own tissue to repair the hernia defect. A tummy tuck can then be done to remove excess skin.
The hernia repair, however, may prevent the abdomen from becoming quite as flat because it is not wise to place too much tension on the repair.
Ventral Hernia Repair with Mesh
Having had a hernia repair does not exclude the possiblity of having a tummy tuck. If you had a large hernia, mesh is almost alway recommended because the chance of recurrence is much diminished when compared with closure using your own tissues. As to whether to consider removing the mesh, you will need to begin by talking with your plastic surgeon, who might want the general surgeon to remove it if indeed that is felt to be in your best interest
When you ready for an in person consultation, RealSelf has listings of surgeons in your area. You should consider cross referencing the listings from the The American Society of Plastic Surgeons (plasticsurgery dot org). A listing in the ASPS website assures you that your surgeon is not only board certified, but also is a member in good standing of the major plastic surgery organization in the U. S.
Thank you for your question, best wishes..