Abdominal Hernia Repair and Removing Excess Skin?

I was just told that I have a hernia as a result of my full-term twin pregnancy. I am very fit but have a bulge above my belly button (not at incision) that has been getting larger and more uncomfortable. Do I incur significantly more risk if I have the surgeon remove the "twin skin," or excess skin in my abdomen, during the hernia repair? Would I need a plastic surgeon in that case, or do I stick with a GP?

Doctor Answers 3


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It sounds like you have an enlarging umbilical hernia. You should consult with a good local general surgeon to discuss surgical repair. If you also have excess, lax abdominal skin that you'd like removed (tummy tuck) you should also consult with an American Board of Plastic Surgery certified plastic surgeon (www.plasticsurgery.org). Your general surgeon may be able to recommend someone and also be willing to work together.

San Francisco Plastic Surgeon

Hernia repair and tummy tuck

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Tummy tucks are commonly performed with hernia repair. A hernia should always be fixed, so that it does not become a problem in the future. Having a tummy tuck done at the same time is an added bonus and does not increase your risk of vomplications as long as your are healthy and you go to a board certified plastic surgeon. Usually, a general surgeon will repair the hernia when the plastic surgeon does the tummy tuck. Speak to your doctors about who they recommend and who they work closely with. This is a very common combination.

Hernia Repair at the Same Time as an Abdominoplasty

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You will not incur significantly more risk if you have the hernia repaired at the same time as an abdominoplasty, and in fact, they are often performed together. Your hernia can easily be performed through a lower abdominoplasty incision, thus providing you with a more cosmetically pleasing result than if you had the hernia repaired by itself.

General surgeons specialize in hernia repairs, but do not routinely perform abdominoplasties. Plastic surgeons are qualified to perform abdominoplasties but may or may not perform the hernia portion depending upon its complexity. Depending upon your geographical location and the availability of surgeons, you may find a plastic surgeon who is comfortable repairing both the abdominoplasty and the hernia at the same time. If not, certainly a general surgeon can work in conjunction with your plastic surgeon so that you may have both procedures at once. Because you are having symptoms and the hernia is enlarging, i would suggest that you visit at least a general surgeon so that you may get a firm diagnosis of your hernia and a treatment plan.

Carolyn C. Chang, MD
San Francisco 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.