The following post from our forum is from a woman who has an epigasstric hernia and needs to have it surgically repaired. She is debating whether to have a tummy tuck done at the same time but is afraid of the increased risk from the combined operation.
Date: 11/25/2011 Submitted by: ManizaCombining Epigasstric Hernia Surgery With Tummy Tuck
I have epigasstric hernia and need to have it surgically repaired. I have been suggested to have a tummy tuck done at the same time but I am terrified at the prospect of two things: the 3 hour operation and the accompanying anaesthesia and the pain post the operation.
Date: 11/25/2011 Submitted by: Tanner
It sounds like “not having” the epigasstric hernia operation is not an option, and the only question is whether or not to include the tummy tuck at the same time.
Overcoming your fears from the surgery can only be accomplished by you but it helps to have the right information and to discuss the situation and your fears with your doctor.
Here are some other things to consider.
– The things that you say you are afraid of; the length of the operation, the anesthesia and the potential pain are going to be there with the hernia surgery that you must have anyway.
– The only real questions are how much will the additional tummy tuck surgery increase the risk and how badly do you want or need a tummy tuck.
– The pain that you anticipate may not be as bad as you think. Most of the people that I hear from don’t complain about the pain (which sometimes isn’t there or can be controlled by medications) but rather from the swelling and the scars. I had a combined tummy tuck and body lift and I didn’t have any pain at all. I wouldn’t worry about the pain too much. Most of the people that do complain about post surgical pain related to a tummy tuck say it’s mostly from the liposuction that they had.
– The increased length of time from the combined surgery under anesthesia may not impose that much of an increased risk as you may think (you need to ask your doctor about that) . Many people (including myself) have had combined surgical procedures with no problems at all and such operations are very common place. (Examples; tummy tuck with body lift, tummy tuck with liposuction, tummy tuck with breast lift..)
– And of course (as you probably already know) the money that you will/may save from combining the operations (with insurance likely paying for the hernia part of the operating expenses).
To ease your fears, you may want to have another meeting with your surgeon and ask the following questions.
1. How much is the risk increased by combining the two operations?
2. Is it safer to have the hernia operation now and the tummy tuck operation later? (It may actually increase the risks because you would be going through everything, including the anesthesia, twice).
If you do decide to include the tummy tuck with your hernia operation, I would suggest that you contact and coordinate with your insurance company ahead of time. There may be additional paperwork that they need from your doctor.
Reply – Dear Tanner, Thank you so much for this informed response. It is such a relief to have a real answer from someone who has undergone similar surgery. Thanks once again for taking the time!