OK to Have Tummy Tuck After Previous Hernia Repair?

Can I have tummy tuck if I have already had surgery on my abdomen for hernia repair? I'm diabetic on insulin, and I look as if i'm ready to give birth... that's what my stomach looks like.

Doctor Answers 7

Tummy Tuck After Hernia Repair

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Thanks for your question -

Hernia repair can involve using mesh which can get infected on subsequent surgeries. This is especially an issue in patients with diabetes. This doesn't mean you can't have a tummy tuck, it does mean that special attention will need to be paid to avoiding infection.

In addition, tightening your abdominal muscles can be more of a challenge in patients with previous hernias. Care must be given to not disrupt the hernia repair and attention must be paid to issues of possible bowel injury during muscle plication.

Find a board certified plastic surgeons and discuss these issues in detail.

I hope this helps.

Hernia repair is OK, check insulin control first

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Thank you for your post. Diabetes is a disease that should demand a healthy respect from both surgeon and patient in plastic surgery. It is a disease that affects the immune system and can increase the risk of infection, a disease that affects the healing potential of a wound and can cause opening of a wound, and is a disease of the circulation that can lower the blood flow to the operated tissue and cause necrosis or tissue death. This needs to be managed as follows:

1. Tight blood glucose control with diet, exercise, and medication. You need to see your internal medicine doctor regularly and make sure your diabetes is well controlled.
2. If you are overweight, then losing weight decreases your risk in tummy tuck surgery or any other surgery for that matter.
3. If you have high blood pressure, this needs to be managed and well controlled by your internal medicine doctor as well.
5. Consider with your surgeon HyperBaric Oxygen therapy pre- and post-op.
6. Make sure you understand from your surgeon and anesthisiologist what medications you should take or not take prior to surgery.

It is very possible to have a great outcome as a diabetic following tummy tuck surgery, but minimizing the risk is the most rational way of accomplishing this.

Best Wishes,
Pablo Prichard, MD

Tummy tuck after hernia surgery in a diabetic

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It is important that your diabetes be under tight control and your Hemoglobin A1c should confirm this. Any diabetic will be at slightly higher risk than the general population for overall complications and you should be aware of this. Previous hernia surgery is not a contra-indication to an abdominoplasty but I would request your previous medical records to be aware fo the technique/materials used for the repair.

Hernia repair and abdominoplasty

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If you had a hernia repair inthe past, it should be OK to undergo an abdominoplasty.  A complete history should be available to review before surgery.

Patients with a previous hernia repair can receive tummy tucks

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Tummy tucks are a very popular and effective way to contour the abdomen. This surgery is commonly performed in patients who have scars or who have had other abdominal surgeries. Keep in mind, that your abdomen has more scar tissue than an abdomen that has never been operated on. For this reason, it is extremely important to work with a board-certified plastic surgeon great deal of experience and abdominoplasty and scar revision. Your plastic surgeon will take a great amount of care when performing your surgery, especially in the area close to the hernia repair. Be sure that you work for someone well experienced and comfortable working around these altered structures.

To learn more about tummy tucks, see photos, and help you decide which one is best for you, please visit us at the link below:

Tummy tuck following a hernia repair

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Yes, you should be able to have a tummy tuck even if you have already had a hernia repair. I would recommend that you obtain the operative report from your hernia surgery (just ask your hernia surgeon for this) and have this available for your plastic surgeon for reference. This will allow your surgeon to know exactly what was done and what to expect during your tummy tuck surgery. Good luck, /nsn.

Tummy Tuck after hernia repair?

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The short answer is YES. The right answer is MAYBE. There is no one hernia repair, there is no one tummy tuck, and there are a lot of qualified, and some unqualified surgeons for you to talk to about this.

Find a well-qualified plastic surgeon, explain your situation and the fact that you have diabetes. You won't find the answer here. Get a few opinions from surgeons that are members of the AMERICAN BOARD OF PLASTIC SURGERY. You can find some in your area.

Best of Luck!

Jack Gelman, MD
Frankfort Plastic Surgeon

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.