My Surgeon Recommends Tummy Tuck with Mesh. Is It Safe?

I plan to have tummy tuck. My plastic surgeon recommends tummy tuck with mesh. I'm 5'3, 205 pounds is it safe to have plastic surgery with a mesh?

Doctor Answers 5

Tummy tuck usually does not need mesh placement.

Hi, tummy tuck does not require mesh placement unless you have a large hernia.  A small hernia can be primarily closed at the time of tummy tuck if it is less than 5 cm in diameter.  Placing a mesh is not without any risk; it may leave unnecessary scar tissue inside and increase risk for infection and seroma formation.  Please talk with your plastic surgeon and ask why you would need a mesh.

Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 76 reviews

Tummy Tuck does not require mesh

A tummy tuck does not require mesh unless in the very rare circumstance you have a complex abdominal wall hernia.  Even if you have a small hernia, this can be repaired without mesh.  The only indication/reason to use mesh would be if in the very rare circumstance you have a large recurrent or complex hernia.  But, if you are just having a cosmetic tummy tuck, mesh is not needed.  In fact, the use of mesh in any procedure is not without risks.  Mesh is a foreign body and does carry some risks such as infection.   

I perform tummy tucks several times weekly and I have never utilized mesh on a tummy tuck procedure.  Please talk to your plastic surgeon to find out more about his/her treatment plan for you.  Best of luck.

Dr Basu

Houston, TX

C. Bob Basu, MD, FACS
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 212 reviews

Mesh In Abdomen Carries Some Risks

There is a risk in placing mesh or any other foreign body.  If it becomes infected, it must be removed.  I agree that the indication for placement of mesh, ADM, or other materials would be the presence of a hernia and that there is reason to use it in a standard tummy tuck.

John Whitt, MD (retired)
Louisville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

Tummy tuck does not usually involve mesh unless you have a hernia

I perform frequent tummy tucks in my practice as a plastic surgeon and I have never placed "mesh" in a tummy tuck.  If you have a large hernia that is being repaired (often by a general surgeon) at the same time then it is conceivable that you may require mesh (usually now a biologic mesh).  Small hernias such as belly button hernias and epigastric hernias (above the belly button) are mostly able to be repaired directly without the need for any mesh.  Adding a foreign body such as mesh can really complicate things and it should be avoided unless there is a good medical reason for it.  Mesh infections can really be a difficult and challenging problem for any surgeon.  I hope this helps!

James F. Boynton, MD, FACS
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 42 reviews

Is Mesh Used In A Standard Tummy Tuck?

   Dear Kayakamo,

       The use of mesh or other materials is "safe" if used for the proper reasons. Most of us do not routinely use mesh when we are performing a straight forward tummy tuck. I would suggest that you ask your surgeon why they are recommending mesh in your case. If the answer you receive is not clear, then perhaps a second opinion is in order. Good luck.

Douglas L. Gervais, MD
Minneapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 176 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.