Can Umbilical Hernia Repair Be Done at the Same Time As a Tummy Tuck?

Hi, I am considering a TT when I undergo my hernia repair. Would I need 2 surgeons to do the operation? My first hernia repair was done with a general surgeon. My thought is that I'd like to do both at the same time for cost saving, since my hernia repair will be covered under insurance. Thanks in advance!

Doctor Answers 10

Umbilical hernia and tummy tuck (abdominoplasty): TWO FOR ONE?

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An abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) and  umbilical hernia repair (herniorrhaphy) can be repaired at the same time. However, there are increased risks of compromising the blood supply to the umbilicus which can result in healing problems and complicatioions. Frequently, the simple act of repairing a diastasis (muscle repair) will treat small umbilical hernias.

Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 86 reviews

Hernias can be repaired at the same time as abdominoplasty (tummy tuck)

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If you have a hernia of the abdomen,  almost all kinds, it can be repaired at the same time as an abdominoplasty (tummy tuck).

Umbilical hernias frequently occur after pregnancy as does excess skin and laxity of the muscles. All of the problems can be corrected by abdominoplasty (tummy tuck). The scar from the abdominoplasty will be low on the abdominal wall and any excess skin will be removed at the same time that the bulge from the hernia will be flattened.

It's a win - win for you.

G. Gregory Gallico III, MD
Boston Plastic Surgeon

Umbilical hernia repair with tummy tuck

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For an umbilical hernia, it is probably bettter to have the plastic surgeon doing the tummy tuck to also do the hernia repair. This is because it is important to make sure the blood supply to the umbilicus is preserved since the only blood supply is from the area where the hernia repair will be done. Make sure your Plastic Surgeon has had general surgical training and is comfotable with this approach. Most should be.

Robert T. Buchanan, MD
Highlands Plastic Surgeon

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An Umbilical Hernia CAN be repaired at the SAME time as a Tummy Tuck

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The vast majority of American Plastic surgeons trained and certified in BOTH General Surgery and Plastic Surgery and are quite capable of fixing an umbilical hernia at the same time as a Tummy Tuck. One of the more involved abdominal hernia repair procedures - Component Separation, which splits and moves the muscles of the abdomen in complex abdominal wounds and hernias, has been described and popularized by a Plastic Surgeon.

However, the trick would be to get two surgeons to agree to wait for one another to do their part in this case. The Plastic surgeon would definitely not want the General surgeon to repair the umbilical hernia until he has lifted all your loose tummy skin and exposed the hernia for him. For his part a General surgeon may be reluctant to wait that amount of time for the current low reimbursement of an umbilical hernia. Moreover, your insurance may decide to play hardball and deny payment after all when it discovers that its part was done as part of a cosmetic operation. That would not make the General surgeon too happy.

i would suggest you explore this with your surgeon and see which Plastic surgeon he likes working with. After meeting with the Plastic surgeon you would need to decide which FEELS the best to you.

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon

Hernia repair and TT can be done together by a qualified plastic surgeon

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An umbilical hernia can be repaired at the time of TT. The hernia repair will be billed to your insurance company. The tummy tuck will be paid for out-of-pocket. This type of combination is routinely done with rhinoplasty surgery for cosmetic purposes and septoplasty surgery for functional reasons. The billing is not complicated. Seek out a qualified plastic surgeon in your area for evaluation.

Hernia routinely repaired during tummy tuck.

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If it is a small typical umbilical hernia, I repair it myself during the tummy tuck.  If it is large or complex, a general surgeon comes in and repairs it during the same operation.  You do save some money and avoid another recovery period and additional scarring by doing them together.

George J. Beraka, MD (retired)
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon

Plastic surgeon can fix umbi hernia with abdominoplasty but it won't save money

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Plastic surgeons have a full background in surgery of the abdominal wall and it is routine to fix umbilical hernias while we are there. The tricky part is the insurance coverage. Any time you combine a purely elective procedure with a covered procedure, it gets complicated. I think many plastic surgeons if not most would prefer to just do it as a part of the private pay procedure and not deal with the discounting and billing hassles imposed by the insurance company. 

Richard Baxter, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 59 reviews

Hernia Repair during Tummy Tuck.

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Yes, a hernia can be repaired during a tummy tuck.  Many plastic surgeons are certified in both General Surgery and Plastic Surgery.  These surgeons should be more than qualified to repair your hernia at the same time as performing your tummy tuck.  I routinely repair the hernia at the same time, which helps avoid having to have two surgeries.  Good luck.

Hernia repair and abdominoplasty

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Most plastic surgeons performing tummy tucks are well-versed in treating umbilical hernias. Unless your situation is unusual, you do not really need two surgeons. Most of the time the two surgeon approach is a courtesy situation since it is the general surgeon who usually sees the hernia first.

Robin T.W. Yuan, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon

Tummy tuck and umbilical hernia repair

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Yes, they can!  Typically you do have two surgeons (but not always).  And you can save money since insurance will pay a significant portion of the facility and anesthesia fees.  This needs to be worked out in advance by your plastic surgeon.  Good luck!

Elan B. Singer, MD
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 26 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.