Is Liposuction of the Abdomen Safe After Multiple Hernia Repairs?

I have had 3 umbilical hernia repairs, one after each pregnancy (no mesh ) gallbladder surgery and an appendectomy. I have gone for several consults and many surgeons say its safe and others say its too risky.

I have only seen very reputable board certified surgeons in NYC. Would my umbilical hernia repairs and scar tissue/adhesions put me at increased risk for perforation etc.

I am a 40 year old female, 5 ft 7 and am at an ideal weight of 120 lbs, with protruding abdomen. HELP

Doctor Answers 6

Safety issues for lipo after hernia repairs

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Without seeing you, I can only make general comments. It sounds like the confusion is that you have heard different things from the doctors you have seen. I think you are wise to see only board-certified plastic surgeons. Let's cut to the chase: the most serious risk is that the lipo cannula could unintentionally be slipped through a hernia defect and enter the abdominal cavity. These occurrences have tragic consequences but are tvery rare and I believe that when they do happen it is because of an undetected hernia. Since your hernias have been repaired, the risk should be very small especially if the surgeons who have seen you did not detect any problems. If there is loose skin then a tummy tuck is the way to go.

Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 59 reviews

Hernias and Cosmetic Abdominal Surgery

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

I agree with all that was said below.  A CT scan of the abdomen will answer all the questions needed so you can have a safe Cosmetic Abdominal procedure.

John LoMonaco, MD, FACS
Houston Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 276 reviews

Abdominal or umbilical hernia and liposuction risks

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

The bottom line: A hernia could contain a loop of bowel. Do you want an cannula to potentially perforate a loop of bowel. Clearly the answer is no. The questions are:

  1. Do you still have a hernia?
  2. Does it contain a loop of bowel (incarcerated)?
  3. Can you avoid the area with liposuction or is it in the path?
  4. Is a tummy tuck a better option?
  5. Should you have a combined repair?
  6. Should you undergo preoperative evaluation with a CT scan?

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 86 reviews

Liposuction of the abdomen after multiple hernia repairs not recommended

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

As a very experience lipo plastic surgeon I would not recommend doing any type of liposuction in the face of hernias. This is bordering on malpractice. The very high risk of intestinal perforation is of paramount importance. Please be careful out there. Regards.

Liposuction and hernias

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

If you have had multiple hernias, there is a risk of further hernias or an incompletely reduced hernia. The liposuction cannulae might go through a loop of bowel should it herniate into the subcutaneous tissues before or during the liposuction. Your risk statistically must be higher for a problem compared with someone who doesn't have any hernias.

Ronald Shelton, MD
Manhattan Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 39 reviews

Safety of Abdominal Liposuction after multiple Umbilical Hernia Repairs

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

As a young, thin woman with 3 pregnancies and a protruding abdomen, It SOUNDS to me like a Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty) would be a MUCH better procedure than liposuction. It would not only flatten the tummy, narrow the waist, raise a possibly sagging Mons pubis but RELIABLY repair an umbilical hernia.

Liposuction, by its nature, is a blind procedure in which a steel suction rod, the cannula, is passed through the subcutaneous fat by feel alone with the surgeon mentally visualizing where it is.

By definition, every hernia repair, should be suspected as potentially being a failed repair, unless proven otherwise. Un-recognized hernias where bowel has come up OVER the edge of the muscles, can be a disaster since they can be perforated by the tip causing life threatening infections.

If you insist on having liposuction, I would make certain to be examined, possibly even have an imaging study, if needed, to rule out the possibility of a 4th recurrence of your hernia which could pose a significant risk, if it exists.

Dr. P. Aldea

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon

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.