Is It Recommended to Have Hernia Repair and Tummy Tuck in One Surgery?

Hi, I just had my 3rd baby 5 months ago; complications caused me to have a hysterectomy. I have a vertical scar, two previous horizontal scars an umbilical hernia and diastasis.

I saw 2 docs who told me they would take care of both in one surgery. My friends doctors' made them have the hernia repaired first and then do the Tummy Tuck. I asked the second doc why the doctor separated the two surgeries and her answer was, to make extra money.

She could not see why he wouldn't do them at the same time. I googled the second doctor I saw and there isn't much about her. How do I know I have a good doctor or not?

Doctor Answers 10

Simultaneous hernia repair and tummy tuck

Usually tummy tuck procedures and hernia repairs are combined at the same procedure. Because general surgeons and plastic surgeons often view hernias differently, and have different techniques for repairing them, I prefer to do the hernia repairs myself. Following a general surgery hernia repair with a large piece of incorporated mesh can make what would have been a straightforward tummy tuck very difficult.

If there is a possibility that the work may be extensive, and require entering the abdomen (very difficult or redo hernias), I will typically perform these with a general surgeon in a hospital setting.

Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 178 reviews

Hernia repair and tummy tuck

 In this case, it is ideal to have a double board certified surgeon, in both general surgery and plastic surgery, to do your surgery.  Many younger plastic surgeons do not have this distinction anymore unfortunately.

Richard P. Rand, MD, FACS
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 67 reviews

Hernia repair and the abdominoplasty at the same time

You want to have the hernia repair and the abdominoplasty at the same time. There is no reason to separate them. Combined surgery will make for the best result, make the recuperation shorter (compared to two separate operations), and make for a better appearance.

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

Same time

I would do them at the same time for many reasons, given that there is no medical/surgical contraindication.

If the plastic surgeon is uncomfortable fixing it, he can have a general surgeon do the hernia at the time the tt is being performed- no biggie.

Scott E. Kasden, MD, FACS
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 106 reviews

Combined tummy tuck & hernia repair. Reputation of plastic surgeon

These surgical procedures are commonly performed together. If this is complex, occasionally I will work with a general surgeon who will perform a repair of the umbilical hernia, possibly laparoscopicalIy or with preperitoneal mesh. When performed together there is an increased risk of umbilical wound healing problems.

I would ask your gynecologist and other physicians for referrals or recommendations about the plastic surgeon in question. If they practice in the same community, it is likely that they have patients in common or are aware of their reputations.

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

Tummy tuck and hernia repair

These procedures are frequently done together and quite successfully. There is usually no tecnical or medical reason not to do these procedures together. Charges and reimbursement may influence why they were not done together but there could be other non-medical reasons.

In choosing a surgeon here are some guidelines:

1. Certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery

2. Member of the American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery

3. Good interpersonal relationship with the Dr

4. See many before and after pictures

5. Ask to speak with previous patients

6. Dr able to communicate all options to you includeing the risks, complications, benefits, alternatives, consequences and recovery for each of the options.

7. Ask your OB/GYN or family Dr what they know about the DR

John P. Stratis, MD
Harrisburg Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 34 reviews

Hernia repair and tummy tuck

If you are otherwise healthy, I think it is safe to have a hernia repair and tummy tuck in one procedure. If it is a small hernia that has never been fixed before (ie using mesh, etc), then as a board certified plastic surgeon, I would repair the hernia and perform the tummy tuck in one procedure. If it is a very complex or recurrent hernia, I would work with a board certified general surgeon who would repair the hernia and then I would perform the tummy tuck immediately. How to select a good doctor?
Select a ASPS member surgeon who is board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. Go to to find a surgeon near you.
The most important thing is that your plastic surgeon physically examine your abdominal wall to diagnose your hernia. He/she will then determine if a general surgeon will be needed for the case.

C. Bob Basu, MD, FACS
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 211 reviews

Hernia repair and Tummy Tuck can be combined

It all depends on the location, degree, type of hernia. But yes I do these both together or in combination with a general surgeon as a surgical team.

As for who is a good doctor. First check to see if they are board certified by the Am. Board of Plastic Surgery, Inc. Second, ask if they have surgery privileges at the hospital in your area. Third, call the State Board of Medicine to check their credentials. These are but a few ways to check on your doctor's qualifications. Best of Luck!

Darryl J. Blinski, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 174 reviews

Get a third opinion

The real question is, was there a correction of a true hernia or was it just a diastasis recti and some weakness around the belly button. Most plastic surgeons will repair the weakened recti and small umbilical hernias -- if it is a true large hernia - sometimes plastic surgeons want a general surgeon to approach it. If you are unsure get another opinion from a well respected Board Certified Plastic surgeon.

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

Hernia repair and abdominpplasty

You ask two very good but unrelated questions. First, can you do a hernia repair and abdominplasty together? Absolutely. In fact, it is preferred and a plastic surgeon should be capable of handling both issues. Of course each case has to be looked at individually but often a general surgeon will call in a plastic surgeon to help plan a difficult hernia repair.

The second question is how does one know she has a good surgeon? There is not a simple answer. In general, good doctors refer to other good doctors. If you have a good gynecologist, or internist, they will usually know who the good plastic surgeons are. As far as the comment about making money by breaking up the two surgeries, it is possible that if both surgeries were in part covered by insurance, the surgeon would get paid more by doing two separate surgeries since simultaneous surgeries are traditionally discounted by 50% by insurance companies, including Medicare. But whether this was in fact the motivation cannot be determined.

Robin T.W. Yuan, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 11 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.