Can an Obese Person W/hx of Abdominal Surgeries and Hernias Have an Abdominoplasty?

I have a history of abdominal surgeries inc. hysterectomy and 2 hernia repairs. The left side of my gut has always been a bit larger than the right, but after last year's surgery it's even more so. The contents of my abdomen have shifted to the left per the surgeon. I was also diagnosed with diastasis recti. I am very obese. I look deformed and was wondering if surgery can be used to correct this? I don't want a tummy tuck to lose weight, but I look like a freak. Please advise. Thanks.

Doctor Answers 8

Abdominoplasty is risky in patients who are obese with multiple surgical scars on her abdomen

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Thank you for your question. A personal exam and consultation is always best.

That said abdominal wall reconstruction and be done but you need to find an expert reconstructive plastic surgeon for consultation. For your safety you would have to lose weight before surgery.

Be sure to consult a plastic surgeon who is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, experienced in your procedure, and who has an excellent reputation in your community.

Abdominoplasty and hernia

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Abdominoplasty with mesh reinforcement is an effective technique to strengthen the abdominal wall in patient's that have had previous hernia repairs, hysterectomy or diastasis recti.  There are several recent articles published in Plastic and Reconstructive Journal on this technique and you may be a candidate for the procedure.  One of the benefits is weight loss, which is more pronounced in the higher BMI patients.  This procedure must be done in a hospital and requires an overnight stay.  Obesity increases the risks but it can be performed safely.

Best Wishes,

Gary Horndeski, M.D.

Gary M. Horndeski, MD
Texas Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 230 reviews

Abdominoplasty and hernia repair

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Dear Diana,

More info about your height and weight and pictures would be helpful. Generally, you may have a hernia which can be addressed at the same time as abdominoplasty.  Overall it's better for you to loose weight if you are above a certain threshold. Most patients do tend to lose 10-20 lbs after surgery however.  Please see a board certified plastic surgeon for an examination and recommendations. 

Kevin Tehrani, MD, FACS
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 112 reviews

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Abdominal Wall Reconstruction

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The description of your abdomen is interesting. After a hernia repair, it is possible to have a shifing of the belly button, but typically the abdominal wall itself should be relatively even. If it is not, I would see your surgeon and bring this to their attention.

Lawrence Iteld, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 48 reviews

Abdominoplasty in the obese patient

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I would recommend that you lose weight and possibly to consider bariatric surgery if conservative means are unsuccessful. The risks of wound healing complications are substantially higher in the obese population. As for your thought that your abdominal contents have somehow shifted to one, I can't speculate on that at all without a photo.


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You stated that you are very obese.  I'm assuming that you have a high Body Mass Index (BMI).  If this is the case, then I would recommend you hold off on a tummy tuck until you have lost weight.  There are non-surgical (medical) and surgical options for weight loss.  Best of luck.

Dr. Basu

Houston, TX

Can an Obese Person W/hx of Abdominal Surgeries and Hernias Have an Abdominoplasty?

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To answer this question, a photo and some more info is needed. Height and weight would help--your idea of obesity may not concur with a surgeon's definition. The reason this info is important is that the risks of poor wound healing may be unacceptably high for patients with a BMI (body mass index) over 30. There are numerous on line calculator's that will determine the BMI for you.

In terms of your abdominal wall asymmetry, this is not something that a tummy tuck is likely to fix, as it is most likely related to the hernias and the repairs, so this is something that should be addressed with the hernia surgeon. If it turns out that you are a candidate for a tummy tuck it might be wise for your plastic surgeon to do the operation with the hernia surgeon.

Thanks for your question, best wishes.

Jourdan Gottlieb, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon

Obesity -

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Obesity is treated by diet and exercise - not a tummy tuck. You need to get your priorities straight -- ugliness is not #1 -- your health is. Obesity = hypertension and diabetes. Speak to a doctor who specializes in weight loss, not a plastic surgeon.

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