I Need a Hernia Repair, Can I Also Have a TT? (photo)

I want a tummy tuck to remove excess fat and skin, but I have a hernia. I had a surgery to repair the hernia a few years ago. I have a large ugly scar from the surgery as well the injury which caused the hernia. I want to know if I can still have a tummy tuck and if so will it help with my hernia and scar? Also is there any insurance that will cover any of the cost?

Doctor Answers 10

Tummy tuck and hernia repair

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I cannot tell just from your photos if you have a hernia. You would need to be examined to know for sure. If you do indeed have a recurrence of the hernia it could certainly be repaired at the same time as a tummy tuck and I think insurance should cover the cost.  Make sure to check with your insurance carrier ahead of time to be sure. Many insurance companies think that when a patient is having a tummy tuck and claiming that there is also a hernia being repaired, they are trying to get their insurance company to pay for a tummy tuck, a cosmetic procedure.  This is clearly not the situation in your case so the preauthorization of the hernia repair  definitely  should be done. Your plastic surgeon will be able to help you with the preauthorization process.

Hernias can be fixed at the same time as a tummy tuck

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Hernias can be fixed at the same time as a tummy tuck.  The scar that you show in the photos is not a usual position for  a hernia scar however.  Additionally the scar is in a position (called subcostal, which means below the ribs) which puts you at higher risk for wound healing complications after a tummy tuck surgery.  Specifically, the skin just below the scar is at risk for either prolonged healing or not surviving the surgery which would leave you with an even larger scar.

You need to talk to your general surgeon and to a board certified plastic surgeon who are both familiar with combining surgeries in order to make sure that you get the best outcome with the lowest risk.

Insurance should cover the cost of hernia repair, but the time in the OR used for the tummy tuck is not covered by insurance.

Tummytuck and hernia often done together

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you might well be a candidate for concurrent hernia repair and abdominoplasty. you should see a plastic surgeon for an exam to determine this. if weight loss is contemplated, do so before surgery and be at a stable weight before proceeding if at all possible....this will result in the best possible result. insurance might cover the hernia, but probably not the tummytuck portion.

Bruce K. Barach, MD
Schenectady Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

Hernia Repair and Tummy Tuck

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The photograph provided shows you are a candidate for a tummy tuck.  It may be performed at the same time as the hernia repair.  A general surgeon may or may not need to be consulted for insurance purposes and the comfort level of the plastic surgeon.  Most insurance companies will cover the hernia repair but not the tummy tuck.

Rondi Kathleen Walker, MD
Washington Facial Plastic Surgeon

Tummy Tuck & Hernia Repair

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Based on the information provided, it looks like a tummy tuck can be considered. However, it is unlikely to be covered by insurance.

Hernia and tummy tuck

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Thanks for your inquiry.   I reccomend you seek the opinion of a board certified surgeon in your area.  The two procedures can be combined and it looks like you will need both a plastic surgeon and possibly a general surgeon.  It terms of your second question, insurance companies do not pay for tummy tucks.

Tummy Tuck and Hernia Repair?

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 Thank you for the question and picture.

Yes, tummy tuck and hernia repair surgery can be done at the same time. Depending on the specifics of the hernia and your plastic surgeons' comfort level/experience  a general surgeon may also be involved. It would be in your best interests to achieve a long-term stable weight ( if you are not there) prior to surgery.

Best wishes. 

Tummy tucks are not paid for by insurance

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Thank you for your question and the photos. Unfortuanately, cosmetic tummy tucks are not covered by insurance. You may or may not be a candidate for a functional panniculectomy which can be done before, at the same time, or after the hernia repair.  To be sure, see a board-certified plastic surgeon, more than two to get other opinions, in your area for a full and complete evaluation to make sure you are a good candidate and that it is safe for you to have surgery.  I hope this helps.

Combining Hernia repair with Tummy Tuck surgery

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Yes you can have a hernia repair done at the same time as the abdominoplasty.  Often hernia repairs require mesh and mesh can be used during abdominoplasty.  There has been a recent published article on the combined use of mesh and abdominoplasty for ventral hernia repair.  Insurance will cover a hernia repair but they will NOT cover a TT.  From looking at your photographs, you have some hanging skin.  Insurance companies sometimes cover a panniculectomy (tissue below belly button) IF you have symptoms such as rashes or repeated skin infections in that area. Otherwise, you will be responsible for some of the cost but not all of it. If you don't qualify to have a panniculectomy invest on the TT-this will more than likely get rid of your scar.

Best of Luck,

Gary Horndeski, M.D.

Hernia repair and a tummy tuck

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Hernia surgery and a tummy tuck can be performed at the same time. Whether or not you would be an appropriate candidate would depend on additional information including a physical examination. The tummy tuck would not be a covered benefit of any insurance.

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.