Hernia Repair Right After C-section?

I am pregnant with my 3rd child, which will be a repeat c-section. I already had 2 c-sections with my other two children before. I have developed Crohn's and had surgery to remove 2 feet of small intestine back in 2002. Then within a year, I developed an umbilical hernia which has just gotten worse and worse (no insurance).

Now, my ob-gyn has referred me to general surgery to see if they will repair the hernia when I have my c-section. I am very fearful that the bigger I get with this pregnancy, the worse it's going to be. I am all for it, but what do you think? Is it a good idea? Do you have any suggestions? Thank you so much.

Doctor Answers 7

Simultaneous c-section and umbilical herniorrhaphy

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I would consider first seeking the advice of the general surgeon. If the hernia is exposed in the course of an uncomplicated c-section, it may be convienient to perform a combined procedure.

Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 86 reviews

Hernia Repair During C-Section

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I see no harm doing a hernia repair at the same time of C-section. However, having said that, you do have a slightly higher rate of recurrence (hernia coming back). I think it is an acceptable rate and since you are already numb and it adds very little time to the surgery, it is feasible to have it done at the same time.

Good luck.

Farbod Esmailian, MD
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 88 reviews

Ventral hernia repair during c-section

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In my opinion, a pregnant woman's tissues are not "normal" - they are swollen and do not handle nor behave the same way as they would a few months down the road when you returned to normal. So unless we were dealing with an urgent situation, I would advise caution and waiting for better times. However, I would defer this decision to the surgeon who would be doing the hernia repair.

I think several factors need to be considered here, in addition to the impact on the mother's interaction with the baby, potential complications and increased recovery: The severity of the hernia (including likelihood of INCARCERATION / STRANGULATION (its being caught up in the hole and not being able to fall back in the tummy) which would guide the decision of being able to wait on the repair until a safer time AND the potential use of anti-inflammatory immune system modulating medications which MAY interfere with wound healing (which I am guessing is not the cause because of the pregnancy)

Good Luck.

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon

Hernia repair with C-section

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You should seek the adivise of a general surgeon. It seems completely readonable to do an umbilical hernia repair at the same time as the C-section as long as there are no complications at the time. I suspect that the tissues would be so loose during the healing that the chance of recurrence may even be less.

John P. Stratis, MD
Harrisburg Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 37 reviews

Elective surgery and hernia repair

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I see many women who develop umbilical hernias around the time of their pregnancy. Umbilical hernias can get larger during pregnancy as the abodmen enlarges, but they rarely pose a problem. The abdominal tissues get very swollen and are not entirely normal immediately after delivery. For that reason alone, I feel that repair of the hernia should be done about 4-6 months after the C-section (not at the same time), once you are down to your normal weight. If you have your hernia repaired at the time of C-section, you run a higher risk of the hernia recurring.

Kevin Brenner, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 23 reviews

Hernia repair and C-section

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C-section is usually not the time to undergo elective procedures, at least not for body-contouring procedures. If the main goal is to repair a true hernia without regard to contour, it might be possible to do this from an intra-abdominal approach as the general surgeon might do for a laparoscopic repair of an inguinal hernia. However, since your tissues and body will be changing drastically as you lose weight and your muscles separate or recover, I wouldn't have any expectations from a contouring point of view.

Robin T.W. Yuan, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon

Hernia repair and c-section

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Depending on the circumstances at the time of the c-section and depending on the advice of your general surgeon, it might be reasonable to repair it at that time.  Certainly as the tissues shrink, there will be no tension on the repair. 

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.