Can Tummy Tuck and Hernia Repair Be Done at the Same Time by One Doctor?

Hello I am 22 years old and recently had a baby. I am left with stretch marks and loose skin. My abdominal walls are separated and my bellybutton now sticks out. I was told I could have an umbilical hernia.

Can a tummy tuck and hernia repair be done at the same time by one doctor? If so what is the percentage of major complications occurring in a generally healthy person after this surgery. Thanks

Doctor Answers 14

Yes, your plastic surgeon can advise you

Milan123: You describe a fairly common situation following pregnancies. The abdominal wall consists of both layers of muscle and fibrous support layers. After pregnancies, you may be able to achieve some return of tone by exercise, but stretched midline fibrous support is difficult to recover. If this is bad enough, surgeons call this diastasis, or separation of the muscles. All people have the potential for a weakness at the base of the umbilicus (belly button), but pregnancy puts extra stretch on this area and can develop obvious weakness or an actual hernia. When abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) is done, it is common for the surgeon to suture tighten the fibrous support and muscles in the midline. This may eliminate the weakness at the base of the umbilicus. If a hernia is present, your plastic surgeon may decide it is reasonable to repair it. Most plastic surgeons have complete training in general surgery and are well qualified to do such repairs. If your surgeon feels a general surgeon should do the repair, he or she should explain this to you during your consultaiton. Combining umbilical herina repair and standard tummy tuck may increae the risk of poor healing of the umbilicus itself. The other risks should be minimally different than abdominoplasty alone. One final comment; you are young enough that additional pregnancies and children should be considered. I would advise delaying or modifying abdominoplasty if there is any possibility you would have future children.

Greenville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

Always keep your safety in mind in hernia repair

Thanks so much for your questions. An umbilical hernia repair and a tummy tuck can be performed at the same time… this is commonly done for simple hernia repairs. Most plastic surgeons have their background training in general surgery and are very competent in evaluating an umbilical hernia. I think it is reasonable to say, who repairs the hernia will depend upon the comfort level of the plastic surgeon and his/her level of proficiency.

If the umbilical hernia is small, many plastic surgeons would repair these themselves at the same time of the tummy tuck. If the umbilical hernia is moderate to large or complicated (not reducible), most plastic surgeons would pass this on to their general surgery collogues.

Additionally, the severity of the hernia would dictate whether a single or multiple-staged procedure is performed. Keep in mind that it is not so important who performs the hernia repair but rather you having a safe experience with a happy outcome. To minimize potential risks and complications, I would strongly advise that you see a board certified/eligible plastic surgeon who is experienced in body contouring and tummy tucks. I hope you find this advice helpful!

Stephen A. Goldstein, MD
Englewood Plastic Surgeon

Abdominoplasty and Umbilical Herniorrhaphy

A protruding belly button is not always a hernia. It can be the result of a rectus muscle diastasis. In this instance the protruding belly button is easily repaired by one surgeon: the plastic surgeon.

However, assuming that it is a true umpbilical hernia and you are planning to have a full tummy tuck (not a mini), there is one primary concern:

  • A full tummy tuck generally leaves the umbilicus on a little attachment or stalk.
  • Performing an true umbiolical hernia repair requires surgical elevation and exposure of the base of the umbilicus which if done in conjunction with a tummy tuck will detach and compromise the blood supply.

In these instances, I work with a general surgeon who has experience performing laparoscopic ("inside out") repair of the umpbilicus through little incisions made after I elevate the skin so that these incisions are made in the muscle and not visible on the upper abdomen where they are typically placed. In this instance I do not performe the umbilical repair.

In terms of major complication rates, there may be an elevated risk of DVT with PE which ranges in the literature from 1 out of 3.500 to 40,000.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 69 reviews

Yes, rectus diastasis, umbilical hernia, and tummy tuck at the same time

Dear Milan,

Rectus or ventral hernia and umbilical hernia are common findings in women that also need a tummy tuck following pregnancy.  All three procedures can be performed at the same time by your plastic surgeon.  Mesh is rarely if ever needed in these common scenarios and sometimes insurance can cover a portion of the hernia repair.  I would advise you to seek consultation with board certified plastic surgeon with experience in tummy tuck surgery.

All the best,

Dr. Remus Repta

Remus Repta, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 144 reviews

Tummy Tuck & Hernia Repair Can be Done at the Same Time (Depending on Some Factors)

                  It’s not unusual for patients undergoing abdominoplasty to have associated abdominal wall hernias.  The treatment of these hernias is dependent upon a variety of factors including the size and location of the hernia and the overall health of the patient. 

                  When hernias are large and recognized in the pre-operative period, most plastic surgeons refer these cases to a general surgeon.  Depending on the situation the plastic surgeon may elect to stage the procedure or perform a combined procedure with the general surgeon.  In many cases hernia repair is complicated and may require synthetic mesh.  In other cases the procedure may require inpatient hospitalization. 

                  When abdominal wall hernias are small, they may not be recognized pre-operatively.  Under these circumstances they are usually encountered during elevation of skin flaps.  When this scenario arises most plastic surgeons repair these hernias at the time of the abdominoplasty.  If the hernia is complicated they may consult a general surgeon. 

                  I you know that an abdominal wall hernia is present and you’re considering abdominoplasty it’s important that this issue be discussed with your plastic surgeon.  Your surgeon should be able to formulate a coordinated treatment plan so both procedures can be performed effectively.

Can Tummy Tuck and Hernia Repair Be Done at the Same Time by One Doctor?

Thank you for the question. Yes, umbilical hernias  can (and should) be repaired at the same time as tummy tuck surgery. Much will depend on the “comfort level” of your plastic surgeon;  in my practice, I repair hernias routinely during tummy tuck surgery. Some plastic surgeons prefer to  ask for the services of a general surgeon.  Sometimes,  hernia repairs are covered by insurance companies; you will need to check with your specific insurance company. Your plastic surgeon's office may be able to assist you with this inquiry. Best wishes.

Tummy Tuck and Hernia Repair Done at the Same Time

In my practice, I routinely perform a tummy tuck and a hernia repair at the same time. Of course the necessity of performing both procedures is determined during the initial in person consultation. It is important to seek the advice of a board certified plastic surgeon who has experience in performing both procedures.

Z. Paul Lorenc, MD
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 32 reviews

Tummy tuck with umbilical hernia repair

The two can be combined. If they are not done by the same surgeon, it is important that the plastic surgeon be involved or at least watch the hernia repair in order to maintain a healthy umbilicus.

Neal Goldberg, MD
Westchester Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Tummy tuck and hernias

Hernia surgery and tummy tucks can be done at the same time sometimes by the same surgeon. 

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 23 reviews

Tummy tucks and hernia repair can be done simultaneously

Tummy tucks are a very popular and effective way to contour the abdomen. This surgery is routinely performed in conjunction with other surgeries such as a hernia repair or gynecologic procedures. If the size of the hernia is small or if the hernia does not require mesh repair, your plastic surgeon may choose to repair the hernia himself. Your best bet is to work at a board-certified plastic surgeon who has a great deal of experience in abdominoplasty, body contouring, and correction of defects such as hernias.

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:


Pat Pazmino, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.5 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.