Hernia Repair w/ Tummy Tuck - More Painful?

I need to get umbilical hernia repair done with my tummy tuck and muscle repair, will the umbilical hernia repair add extra pain

Doctor Answers 18

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. Repair of the umbilical hernia will not necessarily increase your discomfort postoperatively.

 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 1,501 reviews

Pain is about the same

Since you are planning on having the hernia repair done it is a great idea to add tummy tuck at the same time. The recovery time and the pain level are similar for both procedures. Many patients that need hernia repair often combine this procedure with full or mini abdominoplasty depending on their needs. The recovery time takes on average about 3-5 weeks. It varies from patient to patient but most patients can drive a car and go back to work after one week

Gregory Turowski, MD, PhD, FACS
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 61 reviews

Pain after tummy tuck combined with umbilical hernia repair shouldn't be any worse!

MANY women who undergo tummy tucks need to have an umbilical hernia repair performed at the same time.  The reason for this is that pregnancy is generally what brings about the need for a tummy tuck and muscle plication.  Pregnancy is also a common cause of an umbilical hernia.  The reason is very simple-- there is only so much stretch that your abdominal wall can take before it gives a bit.  A tummy tuck usually involves plication of the anterior abdominal wall from right below where your ribs meet all the way down to your pubic bone.  To do this, the tissue overlying your rectus muscles, which is known as fascia, is sutured together.  To repair an umbilical hernia, the fascia beneath your belly button needs to be repaired.  Because both of these are fascial repairs, and the umbilical suturing is really very minor compared to the repair of your entire abdominal wall, the umbilical hernia repair really shouldn't cause you anymore pain.  Also, most surgeons will inject you with a long acting local anesthetic at the time of surgery which should help you get through the first night without too much pain.  I wouldn't worry about it too much.  

B. Aviva Preminger, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

A hernia at the time of abdominoplasty will not add to the pain.

A hernia at the time of abdominoplasty will not add to the pain.

Abdominoplasty which usually includes tightening the abdominal muscles is a painful procedure. The pain can be controlled by medication. Any pain associated with the hernia repair will not be noticed in the context of the normal pain felt after abdominoplasty.

G. Gregory Gallico, III, MD, FACS
Associate Professor, Plastic Surgery
Massachusetts General Hospital
Harvard Medical School
170 Commonwealth Avenue
Boston, MA 02116
Tel: 617-267-5553
Fax: 617-267-5507

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

Hernia repair with tummy tuck will add NO additional pain whatsoever!

Properly performed, most all tummy tucks will include muscle plication (repair of the rectus abdominis muscle sheath that is stretched by pregnancy or obesity) from breast bone to pubis. This includes the umbilical area, so if there is a small hernia here, it can and should be fixed at the same time as your tummy tuck. Since this area is sutured with or without a hernia repair, the pain should be absolutely no different in either case.

I inject the muscles beneath the sutured rectus sheath (after hernia repair and plication, or plication alone) with Marcaine and epinephrine (a long-acting local anesthetic) for every tummy tuck--this helps to reduce post-operative pain and muscle spasm for hours and often as long as a day after surgery.

Richard H. Tholen, MD, FACS
Minneapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 255 reviews

Umbilical hernia repair with tummy tuck is common

This is a common scenario and should not add to increased pain.  If your hernia is large, it may require a general surgeon to repair it at the time of the tummy tuck but again, this should not contribute to your postop pain.  Good luck!

Elan B. Singer, MD
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 25 reviews

Ventral hernia repair won't add noticable pain when performed along with a tummy tuck

It is a prudent choice to undergo the hernia repair at the same time as your tummy tuck as you will consolidate your procedures into one operative session rather than two - and the associated benefits from that. Virtually all if not all the pain that you will experience will be related to the plication (repair) of the muscle and the skin repair issues as opposed to the hernia repair itself.

Steven Turkeltaub, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Tummy tuck , hernia repair and pain

Generally umbilical hernias are relatively small and are repaired in conjunction with the abdominal wall plication. The plication contributes most to the pain after tummy tuck and the addition of an umbilical hernia repair should not add significantly more pain.

David A. Bottger, MD
Philadelphia Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 57 reviews


Most of the pain is from the tummy tuck and muscle plication. It is bearable, and usually a pain pump or medication by mouth is enough.

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

Hernia repair with tummy tuck

Umbilical hernias may occur after pregnancy and are commonly repaired  at the same time as a  tummy tuck. It does not add any pain  or discomfort to the recovery, and is covered by your insurance.

Beverly Friedlander, MD
Short Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 16 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.