I have had 5 abdominal surgeries since November 2009. C-section 11-12-09; Exploratory Laporotomy 11-16-09 (developed an ileus post c-section; 4-9-10 (Open incisional hernia repair (developed a serious wound infection on my abdomen sutures follow exploratory lap); Open incisional hernia repair w/mesh 2-16-11; Incision/drainage of abscess on upper left abdomen (minor scar) 1-12-12. The open surgeries have left a significant scar and a butt like appearance on my belly. What are my options?
Tummy Tuck? (photo)
Doctor Answers (4)
Multiple abdominal surgeries leading to unsatisfactory scars and contour
You have certainly have had some post operative problems. Ultimately the contour of your abdomen can be improved, however, it would be very important to let all the inflammation and swelling subside. Also, you will want to make sure there is no lingering trace of infection or involvement of your mesh implant. If the infection involves the mesh, it may need to be removed and further healing completed before even thinking of improving the cosmetic appearance of your abdomen. Wishing you a speedy recovery.
Tummy Tuck After Abdominal Surgeries With Complications
You have had way more than your share of problems. While a Tummy Tuck might be a good answer for you, I would want you to wait at least one full year after all the other abdominal problems have been resolved before considering the cosmetic surgery.
I have had many patients over the years who had a "butt like " deformity on their abdomen from previous surgeries and that can be completely corrected and converted to a smooth low scar that goes across the abdomen instead of up and down. You just don't want to be premature with the surgery and have another complication.
Is tummy tuck possible?
Without examining you in person, I cannot tell you for certain whether you have a enough laxity to undergo tummy tuck. If tummy tuck is possible, it will get rid of your current scar. Please visit with a board-certified plastic surgeon to be evaluated. At the minimum, a plastic surgeon should be able to revise your scar. Personally, i would wait about a year prior to performing a surgery for you to make you that all inflammation/swelling have subsided since your last surgery. Good luck to you.
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Can a tummy tuck 'save' my abdomen?
Well - you have had a string of unfortunate problems that have left a significant cosmetic deformity. If all of these issues have occurred despite good medical and surgical care then any further surgery might be fraught with a similar number of complications. I'm not sure your current problems are solved since an abscess in your abdomen may be coming from persistently infected mesh material. If the abscess can be discounted and the mesh is intact and uninfected then a combined procedure with both a general surgeon and plastic surgeon may be able to improve your abdominal contour. However, you must be sure that all inflammation and scarring has ended. The abdominal skin in the last photo appears red and inflamed and I'm not sure if the photo order is correct. However, the point is - everything needs to be healed and as soft as possible. Two specialists can then try to help you, understanding that you may continue to have wound problems that could possibly be worse than the issue you have now. It's a tough situation but one that might yet have a happy ending. Best of Luck Dr Harrell