Can a Plastic Surgeon Fix Complications from Removal of Massive Tumor?

I had a 80lb tumor removed causing my abdominal wall to weaken and 3 months later ended up getting a incision hernia that was fixed, but something went wrong.

For one, I have lots and lots of extra skin from the tumor and now I have a large mass from one of the surgeries not sure which or from both it was caused from massive bruising inside and now have a large amount of liquid in mid-area and cavity of my abdomen.

I was told a plastic surgeon can fix the problems caused from a bad surgery is this true?

Doctor Answers 9

Complications from removal of massive tumor

I'm surprised your general surgeon did not consult with a plastic surgeon prior and post operatively. This would have given the consulting plastic surgeon the opportunity to develop a "game plan" for your possible reconstruction.

Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 173 reviews

Treatment of a recurrent hernia after removal of an abdominal tumor

It is likely that a plastic surgeon could fix the problem. In order for the surgeon to plan an operation that will work he/she will need to review your medical records, examine you and see the results of an MRI or CT scan. This is not the average case that has a standard text book answer for treatment. If the last hernia operation involved placement of a synthetic material patch to cover the hole that was/is the hernia your body may not be tolerating it and therefore you have fluid around it. The fluid could be a number of other things that is why it is important for a surgeon to look at your medical records and the MRI or CT scan in addition to examining you before making any recommendations. In such cases it is better to have more skin than to not have enough.

Aaron Stone, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

Massive ventral incisional hernia following tumor removal

Typically in these instances a repair called "separation of parts" is used to repair the damaged structure of the abdominal wall. Alloplastic materials such as mesh may be used to reinforce the repair. Generally, these procedures are performed at University Centers by plastic surgeons.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 81 reviews

Plastic Surgeon's are the "Surgeon's surgeon"

Hi there-

The title above means that when surgeon's find themselves in need of a surgeon to help with a problem, they usually call a plastic surgeon. Our training and experience gives us a special understanding of how the body's soft tissues can be managed to achieve various goals.

Find an experienced plastic surgeon board certified by The American Board of Plastic Surgery and discuss your problem with them.

Need help finding one? Read this:

Armando Soto, MD, FACS
Orlando Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 157 reviews

Complications from abdominal tumor

Without an exam or photo, I have to qualify my answer.

That said, it would be a good idea to visit with a plastic surgeon. I would recommend one who has experience with massife weight loss patients, such as gastric bypass, etc.

I would also recommend that you consider coordinating with a general surgeon because fixing the hernia may require intra-abdominal work that a general surgeon would be most suited to fix.

Finally, I think that you may benefit from a tummy tuck to correct the residual defects.

Scott E. Kasden, MD, FACS
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 101 reviews

Plastic surgeons can fix big problems

What you are describing can be addressed by an experienced plastic surgeon, usually university based and preferrably one who is double board certified in "Surgery" and in "Plastic Surgery." That way, they are general surgeons as well as plastic surgeons and can understand better all of the issues here. Otherwise you could work with a team consisting of a surgical oncologist and a plastic surgeon. Again, a university or large multispecialty clinic is your best source for these physicians.

Richard P. Rand, MD, FACS
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 67 reviews

Fixing Things Can Be Done

Plastic surgeons are known to fix difficult problems. I am having a hard time figuring out what exactly your problem is but I would guess you have some extra loose skin as well as a recurrent hernia perhaps.

You should get evaluated by a board certified plastic surgeon who has experience and training in general surgery as well as that will help.

Good luck.

Farbod Esmailian, MD
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 77 reviews

Correction of Abdominal Wall after removal of a LARGE (Ovarian) Tumor

The tumor which assume such large sizes are most commonly ovarian tumors. When you realize what one or two pregnancies with 8 pound babies does to your body and abdominal wall, it is obvious that it does not compare to what happens when an 80 pound mass is removed.

I cannot comment on why you had an incision hernia. It could have MANY reason including poor nutrition, poor tissue to allow a solid repair, repeated coughing and many others.

Similarly, it is NOT normal to have EITHER "massive bruising inside " or "a large amount of liquid in mid-area and cavity of my abdomen". These MUST be investigated immediately as it may be an abscess, a sterile collection which may later become infected and become an abscess, an injury to bowel or kidney with spilled fluid contained in this sac or even evidence that your tumor MAY be coming back.

Once this fluid collection is corrected. You will require a conference between your general surgeon and a Plastic surgeon who performs abdominal wall reconstructions. You will require a MRI to see what muscles are left, what the size of the defect is and from them decide, if anything, can be done to correct your condition.

Having "lots and lots of extra skin " is not life threatening. It can be corrected AFTER all other factors are addressed properly.

Dr. P. Aldea

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 108 reviews

Complications from abdominal surgery

You certainly seemed to have endured quite an ordeal. While one cannot say for sure if your situation can be "cured,' it is certainly a problem that warrants a consultation with a plastic surgeon. We generally have the training to analyze the problem and devise an anatomical solution.

Robin T.W. Yuan, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 11 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.