Combining Tummy Tuck with Ventral Hernia Removal?

I Have a LARGE ventral hernia, and I would like to know if have a Tummy Tuck would be a good idea at the same time of my hernia surgery?

This is my 4th surgery on my abdominal area, from tumors on my liver to now this large hernia that looks like a head coming out of my side. I just can not keep getting cut open. What should I do? Thank you for you input and time. Cindy

Doctor Answers 9

Combining Tummy Tuck with ventral hernia removal

Cindy 1962,

In GENERAL, ventral hernia repair can be done along with an abdominoplasty.

That being said, without examining you and knowing your full medical and surgical history, I do not know if I would be comfortable doing it in you.

First and foremost, is the liver situation resolved or might they need to go back and operate on you?

- Are you taking any medications which may interfere with proper wound healing?

- How is your health otherwise?

- You mentioned 4 abdominal operations - were these operations for liver disease OR were they to repair the same hernia?

- Are the scars of these 4 operations ALL vertical through the midline or do you have any other scars which may have potentially limited the blood supply to the tummy skin and preclude performing a conventional tummy tuck?

These are just of of the questions many Plastic surgeons would want to know to minimize major complications.

Regarding " just can not keep getting cut open. " I fully agree. But, having a recurrent ventral hernia is NOT a reason for performing an abdominoplasty which is an extensive operation. The reasons why the hernia repairs failed need to be cleared and acted upon.

Hope this answered your question.

Memphis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 109 reviews

Combining Tummy Tuck with Ventral Hernia Removal

These procedures are frequently combined. A general surgeon can typically work in conjunction with a board certified plastic surgeon, or the board certified plastic surgeon if he/she has training in general surgery could perform both procedures. In your case, you have a complex history that may make the combination more risky. In person consultation and exam will need to occur to determine if the combination surgery is appropriate for you.

Kris M. Reddy, MD, FACS
West Palm Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 42 reviews

Not that easy...


It sounds as if you've had a rough patch of years. This question, for someone with such a complex history, can not easily be answered. The first general concept that you must accept is that you ARE a HIGH RISK surgery patient. You should EXPECT some complication following surgery regardless of its severity (minor or major). This way if you have no complications you will be even happier that you proceeded. This kind of surgery is most often a combined multidisciplinary endeavor with a general surgeon and a plastic surgeon. You should be seen and evaluated by both before a plan is formulated to repair the hernia and possibly return your abdomen to a better contour. Good luck!

Kenneth R. Francis, MD, FACS
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 47 reviews

You Are A Good Candidate For A Combined Procedure

My preference is to repair the hernia using your own muscle tissue, which avoids mesh and also allows sculpting the abdominal wall.

I always obtain a CT scan of the abdomen as a "roadmap" for planning the surgery and to avoid surprises. Soemtimes there is more than one hernia !

I'm boarded in general and plastics, and these hernias are very common is patients who have had open weight loss procedures.

John LoMonaco, MD, FACS
Houston Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 271 reviews

Abdominoplasty can be combined with ventral hernia repair

Yes, it is possible and common to combine ventral hernia repair with abdominoplasty. You would likely need to be seen by a general surgeon and your plastic surgeon who will work together to plan your surgery. Some plastic surgeons are also trained in general surgery and could perform both operations as well. If you post a picture, it may be more helpful for us to give you some advice.

David Shafer, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 77 reviews

Removal of excess skin of the abdomen may help with the hernia repair

If a patient has a very large hernia the general surgeon who is doing the repair may ask for a plastic surgeon to assist in removing extra skin in order to minimize healing issues with the hernia repair. If the hernia is very large the skin over it may have become stretched out and needs to be removed and healthier skin closed over the hernia repair. If there is a lot of excess skin of the abdominal wall (sometimes called a pannus if it hangs down below the pubic area) then the general surgeon will ask a plastic surgeon to remove the pannus to relieve tension on the hernia repair while it is healing.

These procedures are not generally considered a tummy tuck - they are reconstructive procedures facilitating the hernia repair. Even so it can be difficult to get insurance coverage and requires a lot of documentation and often appeals. When a patient has a complicated hernia and previous abdominal scars it is often a good idea for a general surgeon and a plastic surgeon to consult together on the patient so the best possible result can be achieved.

Susan E. Downey, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
3.9 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Ventrla hernia repair (herniaorrhapy) and tummy tuck

What you should do is get a referral from your general surgeon to a plastic surgeon who can advise you (after performing an examination) if this is a reasonable option for you to undergo.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 82 reviews

Possible but need to discuss with your plastic surgeon

Ventral hernia and abdominoplasty could be perfomed in one surgical setting.However, with all your surgical history,it is very important to examine your abdomen to determine the best course of action for you.

Multiple scars could interfere with a tummy tuck operation. It is important to discuss all these issues with your board certified plastic surgeon.Best of luck!

Hisham Seify, MD, PhD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

Ventral Hernia and Abdominoplasty

Before you have an abdominoplasty, one needs to make sure that you will not need another abdominal surgical procedure. If you are not expecting to, certainly the first priority is the repair of your Ventral Hernia. I would understand if you had the hernia fixed and not the abdominoplasty -- but it would be rare to perform the abdominoplasty and not repair the hernia.

Richard Greco, MD
Savannah Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 23 reviews

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.