I Have Had 3 Abdominal Surgeries and Now Major Scar Tissue Build Up. What is Available? (photo)

I had diverticulitus, partial colostomy, and the reversal. Then came down with ventral hernia. Had removed. Now my abdomen is swollen and insurance won't cover because they say its cosmetic. Can't explain more (limited characters) What are my options to safely remove the scar tissue and get back the flat abdomen i had before all the surgeries? Posted pics below. Please help.

Doctor Answers 2

Abdominal contouring

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In addition to what was said below, you would also benefit from weight loss and liposuction.  I imagine all this surgery has kept you from being to able to exercise as you were before surgery.  Avoid crash dieting because the relapse rate is very high.  I usually recommend "The Zone" by Dr. Barry Sears for my patients. 

When you go for a consultation, try to have a copy of your surgeon's dictated operative notes for all the procedures you had done.  This will help your plastic surgeon decide what can be safely done.  Hope it goes well.

TT after abdominal surgery

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Thank you for the question and for the photos. One added bit of info that would be useful would be to know where the hernia was (stoma site or midline incision, and what was used for the repair, and when it was done.

Ignoring the hernia part for the moment, a tummy tuck could improve the abdominal contour of the lower abdomen. The vertical scar could be made a bit shorter, but would still be present. I am not sure I can see the colostomy scar, so I cannot comment on the potential for improvement. 

"Safely" is the key word here. If you had major contamination of the abdomen, and the hernia is midline, you may have abdominal contents stuck to the back of the abdominal wall, and at higher than usual risk for injury during an attempt to tighten your abdominal wall. Speaking to the surgeon who did your abdominal surgery is essential for both you and for your plastic surgeon. 

If you choose to proceed, your plastic surgeon may want your general surgeon to be in attendance to help evaluate the abdominal wall, and the hernia repair, and to assist in the decision making process at surgery.

Thanks, and best wishes. 


Jourdan Gottlieb, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon

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.