Hernias of the abdominal wall are very common, especially in women who have had several children or in anyone who has had a previous surgical procedure. Umbilical hernias are particularly common as there is an inherent weakness in that area which does not tolerate a lot of pressure, such as from a growing pregnant uterus.
A hernia is a defect in the muscle fascia, which is the tough, white fibrous layer surrounding our muscles. When a hernia bulges outward, internal organs are pushing through the opening; most commonly the omentum but the bowel often comes through as well.
Plastic surgeons also often find unexpected hernias while performing tummy tucks on patients who have had previous laparoscopic procedures, as many surgeons don’t repair or poorly repair the fascia during these surgeries.
The problem is that, if the organs get stuck (incarcerated) in the hernia defect, their blood supply can be cut off creating a surgical emergency. This is why it is best to have hernias fixed before this happens. Having a hernia repaired as an elective procedure is typically a much easier surgery on both the patient and the surgeon than having it done when it is incarcerated and emergent.
The majority of hernias can be fixed at the time of a tummy tuck. Dr. McMahan became board certified in General Surgery before his plastic surgery training and has repaired hundreds of hernias while performing tummy tucks.
This simultaneous hernia repair and tummy tuck can cut the cosmetic cost of the operating facility and anesthesia. For this to happen, it is necessary to obtain prior authorization from your insurance company. Fortunately, repairing an umbilical or ventral hernia generally has no effect on the pain of surgery or change the period of recovery.
Contact Us to talk to James D. McMahan, MD, FACS about how he can help you with your Umbilical Hernia and Tummy Tuck.