Would a ventral hernia and diastasis repair by a general surgeon fix my belly protrusion/pooch?

I am 5'9, 200 ibs. I have a ventral hernia and diastasis after having twins. I spoke to a general surgeon who said he could fix the hernia and diastasis at the same time with vertical incision. I have a pooch on my belly from my hernia and diastasis and want to know whether a tandem hernia and diastasis repair by the general surgeon will fix the pooch? or do i still need an abdominoplasty to flatten my stomach? The surgeon would remove excess skin from my belly during surgery.

Doctor Answers 8

Would a ventral hernia and diastasis repair by a general surgeon fix my belly protrusion/pooch?

Without photos or an exam, it is impossible to accurately answer your question.  Hernia repairs generally do not improve contour. That is best done by a plastic surgeon, many of whom could also repair the hernia, for diastasis repair and removal of excess skin. After having twins, you should definitely seek consultation with a plastic surgeon. Best wishes.

Baltimore Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 16 reviews

Hernia repair--general surgeon?

Your question is a very common one. Without photos, it is hard to make a definitive recommendation. Most (Board Certified) plastic surgeon have been trained in at least three years of general surgery before training in plastic surgery. The combination of hernia and "pooch" are best treated by a plastic surgeon . Be certain that the surgeon with whom you consult can demonstrate plenty of experience with combined hernia repair and tummy tuck. When the muscles are tightend up during hernia repair, loose skin tends to increase. Almost always, trim of the redundant skin is required for the optimum result.

Tad Grenga, MD, FACS
Suffolk Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 15 reviews

Tummy tuck or hernia repair

While a general surgeon can perform the ventral hernia repair, a plastic surgeon is best trained to perform the other parts of the surgery needed to give you a flat tummy including the diastasis repair, proper positioning of the scar and umbilicus  and probable liposuction of the flanks. The Plastic surgeon can do the hernia repair at the same time.

Morad Tavallali, MD
Vienna Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Tummy Tuck, Diastasis Repair and Hernia Repair...who would you want to perform this for you? General Surgeon or Plastic Surgeon

Unfortunately, without pictures, there is no way to know what procedure you really need.   General surgeons are definitely qualified to perform hernia repairs.  However, diastasis repairs are likely better left in the hands of plastic surgeons. Plastic Surgeons have to train in General Surgery first!    A vertical scar can be very unsightly!   Most Plastic Surgeons will repair your hernia, repair your diastasis recti and tighten your skin, all through a bikini scar which can be hidden beneath any bikini or shorts.  I would definitely recommend you to get a few Plastic Surgeon opinions in person to see exactly what you need and what is best for you functionally and cosmetically.   It sounds like you would benefit form a Tummy Tuck! ....And a Plastic Surgeon! 

Daniel P. Markmann, MD
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 114 reviews

Is a general surgeon ok to do my hernia repair and tummy tuck?

Thank you for your question about your hernia repair and tummy tuck.

  • With all due respect to general surgeons (and I trained as one before going into plastic surgery), this does not seem the best idea - 
  • Your general surgeon is planning to a tummy tuck with hernia repair - without the experience to do a good tummy tuck.
  • A vertical incision will go from your ribs to your pubis to do the tummy tuck - and is only recommended for women who already have a scar of that kind or for a fleur-de-lis tummy tuck after massive weight loss.
  • I strongly suggest you see an experienced plastic surgeon for an examination and recommendation.
  • The plastic surgeon may be able to repair the hernia her/himself and if not, you will need the plastic surgeon and general surgeon to work together - 
  • The plastic surgeon will lift the skin through a low incision  - your general surgeon will repair the hernia and your plastic surgeon will finish the tummy tuck.
  • If the ventral hernia is very large, the recommendation might be to have the hernia fixed first, and the tummy tuck done 6 months later.

Always consult a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon. Best wishes, Elizabeth Morgan MD PHD

Elizabeth Morgan, MD, PhD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

Ventral hernia and diastasis ans umbilical hernia.

Thanks for your question. ventral hernia, umbilical hernia and diastasis can often be repaired at the same time. many patients confuse diastasis for a ventral hernia. 

A hernia is a hole in the abdominal wall where abdominal contents can get stuck.Many, but not all, plastic surgeons will repair these depending upon the size. 

A diastasis is a weakening of the abdominal wall that is common after pregnancy as the midline abdominal muscles stretch apart. Diastasis is not a hernia, but it is commonly repaired.

It is common to see umbilical hernias after pregnancy that make the belly button protrude. These do not have to be fixed unless they are large, but they are commonly fixed for cosmetic reasons at the time of a tummy tuck. 

If you  are concerned about the cosmetic outcome of your result you may wish to see a board certified plastic surgeon. Many plastic surgeons repair these issues at the time of tummy tuck usually through a low horizontal incision below the underwear line and remove excess skin as well.

As you approach this surgery do your best to be a a healthy weight. Stress on the abdominal can make these repairs stretch of fail.

Best wishes.

Adam Tattelbaum, MD
Washington DC Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 105 reviews

Diastasis repair

A ventral hernia repair would tighten the musculature and slightly improve your appearance. The "pooch" would not be removed. I would caution you about general surgeons who perform plastic surgery without the benefit if training in our specialty.  First, see a board certified plastic surgeon in consultation so you can form a reasonable basis for comparison.

Robert L. Kraft, MD, FACS
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 42 reviews


A better option is to have a plastic surgey do a tummy tuck with a low horizontal incision and expose the hernia for the general surgeon who can then repair the hernia.  The diastasis can then be repaired by the plastic surgeon as well as close the abdominoplasty incision.  

John Michael Thomassen, MD
Fort Lauderdale Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 52 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.