Can Surgery Fix Stomach Muscle Trauma?

my daughter is 23yrs old never been pregnant, had a car accident 3 years ago, wore a lap seat belt as passenger in back seat. seat belt saved her life yet suffered a vertebrae fracture and shredded the aorta. still has scar from the trauma of the lap belt, her left side of her abdomen swells when eating and drinking and has increased in size and is getting more painful, painful when using her bowels, ultra sound shows 1/5 difference in depth from the other size, no hernia is present,

Doctor Answers 5

Complex Abdominal Wall Reconstruction

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Truly amazing and uncommon case. The amount of force required to tranmsect the aorta which is located on the back wall of the abdomen must have also damaged some of her bowels as well as the muscles of the abdominal wall. Such a massive blunt injury is usually lethal and it is a miracle that your daughter survived it. It also explains her residual abdominal dysfunction. Your daughter requires careful evaluation of her abdomen by a Plastic surgeon who is experienced in abdominal wall reconstruction. This would give your daughter the best chance of a functional repair. Dr. Peter Aldea

Memphis Plastic Surgeon

Abdominal wall re-construction following major blunt trauma

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The degree of injury sustained suggests marked trauma to skin, fat and muscle.  There are several procedures performed by reconstructive surgeons that may improve appearance and function (flaps, fat grafting, mesh for hernia).

Robert Sleightholm, MD
Brampton Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

Repair of scarred abdominal wall following massive trauma

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I agree with other surgeons in that it is fantastic your daughter survived such a devastating injury. Unfortunately if scar tissue has replaced the abdominal muscles, it may be very difficult to repair this because the muscles cannot be reconstructed. A gap in the muscles can be excised and or repaired but this is typically done only when a hernia exists. Replacing this with mesh will not adquately substitute for an intact abdominal wall.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 86 reviews

Can a tummy tuck fix the effects of abdominal trauma?

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This is actually a very complex case and really needs the input of a reconstructive surgeon since there is probably more than one tissue type (e.g.: fat, skin, or muscle) that was apparently effected. 

I would look for a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon who performs reconstructive surgery and ask him/her this question.

I hope this helps!

Reconstructive surgery may be helpful

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Your daughter needs a proper evaluation by a reconstructive surgeon who can examine her, review her xrays, review her history and help you determine if she has a problem that can be surgically improved.  Every situation like this requires a specific, individualized examination and plan.  Sometimes surgery can help, and sometimes it cannot.   Good luck!

Evan Sorokin, MD
Cherry Hill Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 77 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.