Mesh removal during tummy tuck?

I had a umbilical hernia repair with mesh a year ago and I am planning of getting a tummy tuck early next year. I do believe my mesh is causing issues (not pain) but more autoimmune issues. Would my mesh automatically be removed during the tummy tuck? If it's is removed what would this mean for my hernia? Is the significantly more dangerous of a surgery? Does recovery take longer? I'm terrified to keep he mesh in but I'm terrified at the process of taking it out as well.

Doctor Answers 5

Mesh removal during tummy tuck

Mesh is not normally removed during tummy tuck procedure.  Mesh may be removed if the mesh was placed open, rather than laparoscopically and if the mesh is not fully scarred into the fascia.  Please share the operative note with your plastic surgeon.  By removing the mesh, you can introduce a risk for recurrence of hernia.  Pros and cons of your surgical options and surgical techniques should be discussed with your plastic surgeon.

Best regards.

Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 76 reviews

Tummy Tuck/Mesh Removal


Thank you for your question. The answer will depend on where your mesh is placed. Your Plastic Surgeon will want to see operative info from the previous surgery. I recommend that you discuss this with them.

All the best

Jerome Edelstein, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 179 reviews

Mesh removal during tummy tuck

Hi, mesh removal wouldn't be automatic with a tummy tuck so you need to let your surgeon know that you desire to have it removed. 

If the mesh was placed through an incision on your abdomen then it's likely that it can be removed during a tummy tuck but if it was placed via laparoscopy (a camera) it will be on the inside and cannot be removed during a tummy tuck. 

If it was placed through an incision on the abdomen, and is removed during a tummy tuck, remember that recurrence of the hernia will be higher. Your surgeon can place sutures to try and prevent the hernia from recurring, but mesh is the best hernia repair. 

Be sure to discuss your desires with your surgeon so he/she can guide you.

All the best,

Dr. Blagg

Austin, TX

Ross Blagg, MD
Austin Physician
5.0 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Alert your doctor

Please let your plastic surgeon know about the hernia and the mesh. The mesh can be left alone, possibly covered with more fascia, or even removed and your abdominal muscle tissue can be moved to cover the defect.

This discussion will help you decide.

Keith Denkler, MD
Marin Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

Leave the mesh alone

Thanks for the great question. The mesh was obviously placed there to repair your hernia and if it's removed you will then have an entirely new defect which will need to be repaired...with more mesh. In my opinion, it's best to leave the mesh in place and have the tummy tuck. The umbilical hernia repair will not interfere with your tummy tuck surgery, but that is something you should be sure to tell your surgeon prior to surgery. I hope this helps and best of luck!

~Dr. Sieber

David A. Sieber, MD
Bay Area General Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 34 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.