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Umbilical Hernia Repair Recovery Versus Rectus Diastisis Repair and a Tummy Tuck?

I have an umbilical/epigrastric hernia, rectus diastasis and slight lower abdominal bulge and a bit of loose skin, no extra fat. I am extremely active every day lifting weights and doing cardio at the gym. Will my recovery be easier and shorter if I just fix the hernias now with mesh by a GP? In a year or two when my kids are older I can then fix the bulge and muscles with a tummy tuck by a PS. See photos attached.

Doctor Answers 9

Hernia repair, Tummy Tuck

You are in great shape, congratulations.  This is also a scary situation when considering cosmetic surgery, because everything can be visible through the skin that is done below- including sutures and mesh.  There simply is no place to hide here!

I don't see your lower bulge.

I can't see your hernias on your pics, so I can't render an opinion on those either.

I can tell you that if you mean general practitioner, I would say NO!.  My strong advice to you is to get evaluated by a fully trained plastic surgeon and if needed, a general surgeon.  Mesh carries with it complications and you need a lot of information prior to deciding.  You may only get one shot at this.


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Umbilical hernia repair

It is common for me to repair umbilical hernias at the same time I perform a tummy tuck.  It is necessary to be conservative with the repair because the blood supply to the umbilicus.  Since I am there anyway, however, I advise most patients to have the hernia repair at the same time as the tummy tuck. Good luck.

David Stoker, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 25 reviews

Diastasis repair vs Tummy Tuck?

This is a great question, and one that I am glad you are asking before you have any procedure performed.  There are multiple ways to improve the abdominal area after weight loss, pregnancy, or just aging, and if you ask 5 surgeons you will get 4 answers.  This is because there is no one perfect procedure for everyone. 

 However, in your case I don't see the need to have anything done. Surgery will only make unnecessary scars and will not improve much else on you.  That  said, nothing takes the place of a good examination by a board certified plastic surgeon. Let someone evaluate you personally and then if needed, that plastic surgeon can repair the hernia or diastasis, whichever is needed.  Hope this helps, Erez Sternberg, MD (Jacksonville, FL).

Erez Sternberg, MD
Jacksonville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 23 reviews

Hernia repair with abdominoplasty

It's been a long lime since my general surgery residency (20 + years!) so make sure you take this advice knowing that I may not be up to date on hernia repair by general surgeons..  If your hernias bother you and they can be repaired via laparoscopy and mesh from the inside, go for it.  If your general surgeon would need to do a vertical incision and an incision through your umbilicus (this is the way they were done when I was doing general surgery), I would have a plastic surgeon fix the hernias through a bikini line incision.  Because you have very little extra skin,  he/she may need to leave a short vertical component of incision in the lower abdomen but it will not leave a vertical scar in your midriff area or a horizontal scar through your umbilicus.  If I were you, I would put on a little weight.  You really look too lean to me.  Just my opinion. 

If your hernias don't bother you, I would do nothing at this point. 

Lisa L. Sowder, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 53 reviews

Approaching issues of the abdominal wall

You have not stated it you have seen a general surgeon and a plastic surgeon. If you have not, it would be to your benefit to see both then you can make a more informed decision based on the information. Without examining you and obtaining more of your history, it would only be conjecture in determining what course of action would be best for you.

Steven Turkeltaub, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 23 reviews

Have it all done at once.

If the umbilical hernia is not bothering you, then i would have the plastic surgeon repair it when the tummy tuck is performed.  This will be much easier on you an will be done properly.

Miguel Delgado, MD
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 39 reviews

Tummy Tuck with Hernia Repair

Based on your pictures, I'm not sure you need a tummy tuck - you look great. Consider having the hernia repair by a general surgeon for now.

Karol A. Gutowski, MD, FACS
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Umbilical Hernia Repair or Tummy Tuck?

Thank you for the question and pictures.

Giving you advice  without examining you in person and/or discussing your goals is not ideal.

However, based on limited information  I think you may be better off undergoing repair of the hernia without tummy tuck surgery. This recommendation is made based on your description, viewing pictures,  and after  considering the pros/cons  of each procedure as well as the potential risks and complications associated with each procedure.

I hope this helps.

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.