Can Tummy Tuck Prevent Future Hernias?

I have just had a ventral (umbilical) hernia repair. The surgeon says it was mostly omentum. Two years ago, I had a large inguinal hernia, and mesh repair for omentum and intestines. I am 5'6", 145 lbs. (huge breasts, with lots of muscle). I've excercised and dieted this last year to get there. The surgeon said I'm just torn up. I've already had two big babies. I would like to get a Tummy Tuck at some point. Is there any chance a Tummy Tuck would help prevent future hernias? Would the suturing of my abs strengthen them enough to withstand future hernias?

Doctor Answers 9

You might not be the best Tummy Tuck candidate


Having severely weakened abdominal wall tissues may make tummy tuck surgery hard on you. It might not also hold up. Mesh has already been used, so your actual procedure would be harder due to scarring around the mesh and the results might not be as good.Consider this carefully. And to answer your question, the operation doesn't prevent hernaie in the future.

Orange Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

No Guarantees

The causes of your hernias may just be bad luck and hopefully you'll never have another. But, as you can guess by everyone's answers there's no guarantee that you won't still get another ventral or inguinal hernia. Suturing the muscle fascia, the tissue that surrounds the muscle and holds it in place, doesn't make the muscles stronger. It does reduce the distance between the two rectus muscle and tightens the waist.

So get the tummy tuck, look great and don't worry about hernias. It's out of your hands.

Christopher L. Hess, MD
Fairfax Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Tummy tucks do not prevent hernias

Based on your brief history, you appear to be a good candidate for a tummy tuck. Your limitation may be the mesh that was placed from your previous inguinal hernia repair however, this is not an absolute contraindication to having, and achiving, a good result.

The one thing that a tummy tuck does not guarantee, is the prevention of another hernia in the future. Remember, a tummy tuck is a cosmetic and not a reconstructive surgery.

Discuss your desires with your plastic surgeon and be comfortable with your decision. This will ensure you have the information necessary to make the right choice for you.

David A. Robinson, MD
Munster Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 42 reviews

Tummy tucks and hernias are (almost) unrelated

In general, tummy tucks neither cause nor prevent hernias.

However, a patient with a history of ventral hernia may or may not be a candidate to have their abdominal wall plicated (sutured internally for tightening the waistline appearance). If you have mesh, it may not be possible to plicate the muscle layer, but that has nothing to do with changing your risk of hernia.

In some patients, the sutures used to tighten the fascia (lining layer on the muscle) can loosen or pull through, which could lead to an irregular bulging in the abdomen which can mimic a hernia in appearance and feel, although without the risk of strangulation or incarceration of the bowel/omentum, since there's no actual "hole" in the fascia. If such a bulge develops, it is often treated the same way as a true hernia with resuturing or mesh placement.

In short, don't let hernia concerns influence your decision to explore a tummy tuck with a board certified plastic surgeon. Good luck.

Tim Sayed, MD, MBA, FACS
Newport Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Tummy tucks are not related to hernia prevention or recurrence

A tummy tuck does not prevent the development of future hernias.

It sounds as if you are prone to these. Furhermore the muscle repair performed in a tummy tuck is anatomically far away from the inguinal hernia location and so it is unlikely to have any long term effect on the development of hernia.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 81 reviews


Hi!  It sounds like you are a very good candidate for a tummy tuck.  And the abdominoplasty, when well performed, will reinforce your abdominal (rectus) muscles.  But you can still get a hernia in the future.

George J. Beraka, MD (retired)
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Tummy tuck is not an operation to prevent hernias

A tummy tuck is an operation designed to improve the aesthetic appearance of the abdomen, not to reconstruct or reinforce the abdominal wall. I think you should certainly seek out opinions for whether or not to have the procedure, but make sure you're doing it to improve your look, not as a reconstructive measure, otherwise you may be quite dissappointed with the results.

Good luck,


Shahram Salemy, MD, FACS
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 149 reviews


A tummy tuck will repair any problems you have, it can not prevent what will happen in the future. You need to strengthen your abs with exercise, when you are ready for a tummy tuck, it will tighten the rectus, but can not prevent hernias in the future.

William B. Rosenblatt, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Tummy tuck will not prevent future hernias


A tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) has many benefits but prevention of hernias is not one of them. A tummy tuck can improve self-esteem, make it easier to exercise, help with clothes/bathing suits fitting better. Hernias are weaknesses in the abdominal wall and a tummy tuck (even with rectus plication) will not prevent future hernias.

Francisco Canales, MD
Santa Rosa Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 35 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.