I had a lumbar fusion of L4, L5 & S1 a few years ago, after the back surgery I developed a bulge in my lower abdomen I have been told is a result of my back muscles being weakened by the surgery. Is abdominoplasty the solution for this?
Should I Get Abdominoplasty or Something Else?
Doctor Answers 6
Would abdominoplasty improve my bulging abdomen.
Weakened abdomenal muscles create a bulge!
I have had experience such as your own and found that the weakened muscles from nerve injury would not improve from muscle tightening alone. The best way to eliminate the bulge is to apply a mesh support over the muscles. After tightening the muscles with the mesh, a normal tummy tuck can be performed with excellent results.
Treatment for lower abdominal bulge
Your abdominal bulge could possibly be due to a hernia which developed from your back surgery. A board certified plastic surgeon can examine you and determine if this is the case vs excess skin and a weakened abdominal wall, which a tummy tuck could easily treat. The American Society of Plastic Surgeons website is a good place to locate a surgeon in your area.
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Hard to answer without seeing you
Whether or not you need an abdominoplasty after your lumbar fusion is difficult to answer without first seeing you and finding out what is causing the bulge. It is possible that liposuction may be the answer. Abdominoplasty is generally a good treatment for loose skin. Please make an appointment to see a board certified plastic surgeon in your area.
Correcting an abdominal bulge.
If your back surgery occured through an incision in your abdomen the abdominal bulge may be a result of an incisional hernia---a hernia or weakening of the abdominal tissues at the incision in the abdominal wall. Repair of an incisional hernia or abdominal weakness will be repaired by the muscle plication component of a tummy tuck. It is important to remember that a standard tummy tuck removes excess skin and soft-tissue laxity and allows access to the abdominal muscles for muscle tightening. If you do not have excess skin and soft-tissue laxity then all you would need is the muscle tightening component. This can be performed through an existing abdominal incision if there is one present from pevious surgery or an endoscopic tummy tuck can be performed.
Some surgeons recommend placement of mesh to repair incisional hernias. I am not a big proponent of this since your own tissue is still there and just needs to be tightened and better reapproximated.
Hope this helps.
All the best
There are a number of reasons which could be responsible for a "bulge" in the abdominal wall. Understanding the cause of this will be necessary to develop the appropriate treatment plan. If this is a separation of the abdominal muscles it can be easily repaired during the abdominoplasty by your plastic surgeon.
You may have a formal hernia which will need to be treated differently.
Evaluation should begin with a consultation with a board certified plastic surgeon. The determination will be made at that time of whether an imaging study of the abdomen should be done to evaluate the ""bulge".
Regardless of the finding, it can be repaired with either a plastic surgeon alone or a team approach with a certifed general surgeon.
I hope this was helpful. Good luck
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.