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.