How Different is Hernia Repair from a Tummy Tuck?

I am 24 years old and I have two kids. After giving birth I was left with a trouble tummy. I just went to the doc yesterday and she told me that I have a large hernia. My abdominal walls are separated.

My doc said she's gonna refer me to a surgeon? If I decide to get the surgery to repair the hernia, is it like the same thing like a Tummy Tuck? How is it different? Will they get rid of the extra skin? And will they cut next to your belly button?

Doctor Answers 12

Tummy Tuck and Umbilical Hernia?

Thank you for the question.

In my opinion, the best time to repair the umbilical hernia is at the same time that you're having a tummy tuck done. At that time, the hernia is easily  exposed and repaired,  negating the need for further surgery. Care must be taken during the performance umbilical hernia repair to avoid compromise of blood flow to the overlying skin.

It would be in your best interest to have these procedures done concomitantly.

Please make sure you are working with a well experienced board-certified plastic surgeon.

I hope this helps.

San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,499 reviews

You need to see a plastic surgeon

It appears as if you are a perfect candidate for a tummy tuck with repair of the diastasis recti (the spread out ab muscles). If you actually have a different kind of hernia, then perhaps you would need surgery by a general surgeon as well as a plastic surgeon. Assuming you have what women commonly get after children, this could be fixed -- the stretched out muscles tightened in the midline and the excess skin removed. Come in for a consultation and be examined in person.

William B. Rosenblatt, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Hernia Repair vs Tummy Tuck

Hernia repair addresses an opening that has occurred in the fascia or the covering of the rectus (six pack) muscles. It will simply close up the hole. It does not remove any excess skin or tighten the muscles.

You can get a combined hernia repair and abdominoplasty and have it all done in one surgery. Ofcourse, the hernia repair will be covered by your health insurance but the tummy tuck would be a cosmetic cost. You can find a plastic surgeon that may feel comfortable taking care of both or you may need to find a general surgeon to deal with the hernia and a plastic surgeon to perform the tummy tuck.

Just make sure your plastic surgeon is board certified by the american board of plastic surgery. There are some general surgeons out there that will tell you that they can do both........I highly advised against that.


Farbod Esmailian, MD
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 78 reviews

Hernia repair with tummy tuck.


The hernia repair will only take care of the bulge around your belly button, and will be covered by your insurance.

The tummy tuck will remove all the extra skin and tighten your muscles, and this is not covered by insurance.

George J. Beraka, MD (retired)
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Difference between hernia repair and Tummy Tuck

2 different operations for different conditions.

A hernia is an actual pooching of one structure from its normal location into another. As such, we can have hernias of the intestines into the groins, hernias of the stomach into the chest, even hernia of the brain.

You appear to have an umbilical hernia, where a sac of abdominal contents forms alongside the umbilical stalk. This is NOT the same as the muscle separation called a DIASTASIS.

A general surgeon can fix your umbilical hernia thru a midline scar,

BUT, if you wanted the loose, wrinkly, stretch marked skin below the belly button removed, the six pack muscle separation corrected AND the umbilical hernia fixed- ALL of these can be done at the same time as an abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) which is done thru a transverse cut.

I hope this was helpful.

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 109 reviews

Hernia repair vs tummy tuck

Dear StarDiva,

Be smart and visit with a plastic surgeon as well as a general surgeon. The hernia repair can be done at the same time as the tummy tuck, and if you combine them, you will have a nice external scar. If only a general surgeon is working on you, there is a possibility that you may end up with a scar that could not be fully removed by a later tummy tuck. At least speak with both before proceeding.

Best wishes,


Michael A. Bogdan, MD, FACS
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 67 reviews

Hernia repair and Tummy Tuck are different

There are many different types of hernia. They can be repaired without changing your excess skin. They can also be repaired with excess skin reduction at the same time. That looks to me like the combo that would help you the most. However, be aware that hernia repair is usually covered by insurance, but tummy tuck is not.

G. Gregory Gallico III, MD
Boston Plastic Surgeon
3.2 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

A Hernia Repair Will Not Correct Loose Skin

Furthermore, the scar for a larger hernia such as your may be up-and-down (above and below the belly button.) That depends on the surgeon, however.

My recommendation is to fix the hernia at the time of tummy tuck through a more hidden bikini-line incision. An option is to seek a surgeon certified in general and plastic surgery, who can do both operations at once.

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

Simultaneous Hernia Repair with Tummy Tuck

A hernia repair and a tummy tuck are two different procedures but can be done together. For many hernia repairs, the surgeon will make an incision in the middle of the abdomen or around the belly button depending on the size of the hernia. Many people do not want this visible scar. It is common for yoru general surgeon to work with a plastic surgeon so that the plastic surgeon can use a tummy tuck incision (hidden below the panty line) to gain exposure to the hernia.This way, the hernia can be repaired with a hidden incision. It is also possible for the plastic surgeon to remove excess skin at the same time, making this a tummy tuck. Keep in mind that having this hidden incision or having a tummy tuck at the same time, is above and beyond what is medically necessary for the hernia repair and you may have to pay out-of-pocket for this added service.

This combination procedure is routinely done. If you are interested you should seek a consultation from a plastic surgeon in your area.


M. Schulman M.D.

Matthew Schulman, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 326 reviews

Tummy Tuck with Hernia Repair

Tummy tucks and hernia repairs are 2 separate and distinct operations. From your photograph, it appears that you are good candidate for a tummy tuck at the time of your hernia repair. Your doctor probably referred you to a General Surgeon for the muscle repair. Ask him or her if it would be possible to have the tummy tuck concurrently. If so, ask for a referral to a Board-certified Plastic Surgeon.

John Whitt, MD (retired)
Louisville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 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.