Individuals who want a tummy tuck but also have a have a hernia often ask if they can have a combined operation in order to avoid a second surgery and to save money by having their insurance company pay for the hernia portion of the operation. Tummy tucks are usually not covered by insurance in the United States, while surgery for a hernia is. Read more about insurance coverage here.
The determination of whether a combined operation is possible will be determined by the size, type and severity of your hernia, the type and complexity of your operation and your surgeon’s ability. If your plastic surgeon does not have the expertise or experience in repairing hernias, a general surgeon may be brought in for the repair.
A large hernia may make a combined peration too complicated and impose too great a risk. In such cases the hernia would have to be repaired first, followed by a later operation for the tummy tuck. A small hernia that is easily repaired is often possible to fix during a combined operation.
Advantages Of A Combined Tummy Tuck/Hernia Operation
- May save money.
- Will save you the time, pain, discomfort and recovery of a second surgery. Having the two procedures done at the same time means cutting everything in half. You only have to under go surgery once, you only have to under go anesthesia once, you only have to undergo the pain, discomfort and time needed for recovery once.
- May also provide a positive mental attitude knowing that both surgery are over with, the hernia problem is cured, you have lost the excess skin and have a flatter stomach.
- May be less dangerous because it is only one surgery. Every surgery carries it’s own risks (one is better than two).
- Will take longer and may be subject to more complications. Longer times under anesthesia mean increased risks.
- Is more complicated and may involve a second surgeon to perform the hernia surgery.
- May be more painful and tiring to recuperate from than a single operation.
Prerequisites For a Combined Operation
- Both patient and surgeon(s) must deem the risks acceptable.
- The operation must have the approval and cooperation of the surgeon (or surgeons) involved.
- The operation must be coordinated properly with the insurance company.
A hernia is a bulge or protruding sack that you can see or feel. It develops when body tissue or internal organs protrude a weak area of a muscle wall. The type of hernia is based by it’s location on the body.
- Inguinal – (more common in men) appears as a bulge in the groin.
- Femoral – (more common in women) appears as a bulge in the upper thigh.
- Incision – can occur through a scar from previous abdominal surgery.
- Umbilical – appears as a bulge around the belly button.
Any medical condition or physical activity that increases pressure on the abdominal wall tissue/muscles may lead to the development of a hernia including straining to have bowel movements, coughing, cystic fibrosis, straining to urinate, obesity/extra weight, heavy lifting and un-descended testicles.
Usually none. Sometimes discomfort or pain which may worsen when you stand, stain, or lift heavy objects.
Small hernias may sometimes be watched. When hernias get larger or start to become painful surgery is the only treatment for hernias. Surgery strengthens the weakened abdominal wall tissue and closes any holes.
- Herniotomy – the hernia sac is removed without any repair of the inguinal canal.
- Hernioplasty – when the removal of the hernia sac is combined with repair of the wall with material from the patients own body (body tissue ) or a synthetic mesh material. If no material is used for the repair it.
- Herniorrhaphy – when no material is used for reinforcement of the wall.