Surgery Caused Hernia and Diastasis Recti, What Options are There for me? (photo)

I had surgery to remove 9" of my colon in September. I left the hospital looking like I was stealing a bowling ball under my shirt. I thought is was just swelling from the surgery. Since then I've been told by my surgeon that I need plastic surgery to reconstruct my abdominal wall. I no longer have insurance. What are my options? I can't go through life like this. My stomach is huge, very uncomfortable & sometimes painful depending on what I'm doing. Just getting out of bed is a chore.

Doctor Answers 6

Incisional hernia and rectus diastasis after abdominal surgery

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From the photos and your history it sounds/looks like you have an incisional hernia.  If, after examining you and consulting with you, I thought the same, I would schedule its so that I did the surgery (hernia repair) with a general surgeon present.  It looks like it must have taken a LONG time to heal, and you have the obvious bulge, so it is very like the intestines are just below the "skin" and I personally would want a general surgeon there to dissect out that part, and then I could work with the general surgeon on repairing (possibly including mesh) the abdominal wall.  Best of luck to you.

Post op hernia

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Your photographs show an incisional hernia that occuredd immediately after surgery and is a complication of the general surgery operation.  You will need to have the hernia repaired with mesh.  This should be done by a plastic surgeon familiar with hernia repair or in combination with a general surgeon.  From your photographs, I recommend you do this as soon as possible because rupture of the skin is possible and a dehiscense can be life threatening.  You need to go back to your original general surgeon and discuss this with him to resolve this as soon as possible.  There is a new technique to perform a ventral hernia repair through an abdominoplasty incision with a zero recurrent rate.

Best of Luck,

Gary Horndeski, M.D.

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

Bulging abdomen

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You have more than "diastasis recti".  You have a large incisional hernia, which needs to be fixed.  This is reconstructive surgery, and would typically be covered by insurance.

Often, general surgeons and plastic surgeons cooperate on these repairs, as they can be tricky.  There are a number of surgical options ("separation of components" type repair, synthetic mesh, placement of  alloderm) - but it does need to be taken care of.


Best wishes!

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Hernia post op

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This looks like an incisional hernia and should be repaired by a general surgeon. It is medically necessary to repair it so you might be eligible for medical assistance to cover the costs. Good luck.

Margaret Skiles, MD (retired)
Sacramento Plastic Surgeon

Giant hernia

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This hernia should be evaluated by a surgeon with expertise in abdominal hernia work. What you probably need is a "component separation repair" probably with the use of a biologic or prosthetic matrix or mesh. In no one in your local area has the necessary experience and expertise, try the nearest university surgery department. In most but not all areas, a general surgeon rather than a plastic surgeon will have the needed skills. Good luck.


Jourdan Gottlieb, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon

Hernia and diastasis Recti

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You really should have repair of this hernia. The only other option is to wear a corset to keep the abdominal contents in.

John P. Stratis, MD
Harrisburg Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 37 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.