Perhaps better known as a “tummy tuck,” abdominoplasty is a popular cosmetic surgery procedure. During an abdominoplasty procedure, loose skin and fat are removed from the stomach area, and the stomach muscles are tightened in order to create a slimmer, flatter stomach.
Some patients who require hernia repair may consider having abdominoplasty done at the same time. A hernia occurs when part of an organ, or other tissue, protrudes through the abdominal muscle walls. Hernias can be congenital or can be caused by excessive abdominal pressure. Causes of excessive pressure include:
lifting a heavy weight
excess abdominal weight
abdominal tumours or masses
While hernia repair surgery and abdominoplasty are two distinct procedures, they are performed on the same area of the body. Additionally, the causes that necessitate both surgeries are often similar or linked. For example, umbilical hernias can occur during pregnancy. After a pregnancy, a surgeon can repair the hernia while also performing a tummy tuck in order to minimize any sagging or loose skin and to tighten the stomach muscles.
Since both abdominoplasty and hernia repair are major surgeries, it makes sense to combine the two. Hernia repair would be covered under OHIP, while abdominoplasty is a cosmetic procedure and would not be covered. There are still many benefits to combining the two procedures. You would be consolidating hospital time, recovery time, and physical therapy.
Following hernia repair and abdominoplasty, surgeons recommend that you avoid any strenuous activity and avoid lifting anything that weighs over ten pounds. You must be very careful not to disturb your incision or cause any pressure on your abdomen. Most patients are able to return to work and daily activity as soon as two weeks after surgery, though it depends on the individual case. Your surgeon will be able to give you specific instructions to follow after your procedure.
Overall, it is quite easy to repair a hernia while performing abdominoplasty. The area is exposed and can be easily repaired while an abdominoplasty is performed. Abdominoplasty can create a big improvement in your appearance and in your self-confidence. Following a large weight loss or a pregnancy, abdominoplasty can help tighten up your stomach, giving you a serious boost in self-esteem.
If you are thinking of combining hernia repair with an abdominoplasty, speak to your plastic surgeon today. They will be able to let you know whether it is a good idea for you and will educate you about the procedure.