Combining Tummy Tuck – Abdominoplasty and Hernia Repair Surgery

Integrated Approach to Tummy Tuck – Abdominoplasty and Hernia Repair Surgery

Combining abdominoplasty, commonly known as a tummy tuck, with hernia repair surgery is not just a fusion of two distinct procedures; it is a strategic decision tailored to address aesthetic and functional concerns of patients in a single intervention.

In this blog, Sydney Specialist Plastic Surgeon Dr Michael Kernohan provides an exploration into the combined procedure of Tummy Tuck – Abdominoplasty and Hernia Repair Surgery. He covers the benefits, various processes, and key considerations involved in this integrated surgical approach.

Download Dr Kernohan’s Abdominoplasty Tummy Tuck Surgery Guide

Abdominoplasty Surgery Guide

Abdominoplasty vs Hernia Repair Surgery

Abdominoplasty, a procedure aimed at reshaping and toning the abdominal area, is often sought by individuals looking to alter the body contour, particularly after significant weight loss or pregnancy. On the other hand, hernia repair surgery addresses the protrusion of an organ or tissue through a weakened spot in the muscle or tissue wall, a condition that can cause discomfort and health complications.

The primary goals of abdominoplasty include:

  • Altering the shape and tone of the abdomen
  • Removing excess skin and fat deposits that are resistant to diet and exercise
  • Tightening muscles in the abdominal wall

The key aspects of hernia repair surgery include:

  • Restoring the displaced tissues to their proper position
  • Strengthening the weakened area of the muscle or tissue wall to prevent recurrence
  • Alleviating symptoms associated with hernias, such as pain and discomfort

An intervention combining these two surgeries encompasses considerations of efficiency, effectiveness, and patient convenience, particularly focusing on reduced recovery time and a singular period of anaesthesia.

Common Reasons for Combining Abdominoplasty and Hernia Repair

In Australia’s medical practice, combining abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) with hernia repair surgery is a decision often guided by considerations of efficiency and effectiveness, as well as the potential for reduced recovery time. Here are some reasons why the procedures might be performed together:

Efficiency and Effectiveness

Combining abdominoplasty and hernia repair into one surgical session brings forth benefits in terms of efficiency and overall effectiveness:

  • Single Surgical Event: By having both procedures at once, patients undergo anaesthesia only once, which can be less taxing on the body compared to having two separate anaesthetic events
  • Consolidation of Surgical Efforts: Dr Kernohan can address both the cosmetic and medical aspects in one operation. This is particularly advantageous in cases where the hernia is located near the site of the abdominoplasty, allowing for a more comprehensive and harmonious correction
  • Optimisation of Resources: Combining surgeries can be more resource-efficient. It utilises hospital resources, such as operating room time and staff, more effectively, which can be a significant consideration in Australia’s healthcare system
  • Enhanced Aesthetic and Functional Outcome: In cases where hernias cause distortion of the abdominal profile, combining hernia repair with abdominoplasty can lead to superior aesthetic and functional results, as the procedures complement each other

Reduced Recovery Time

Undergoing two major surgeries separately means two separate recovery periods. Combining these surgeries can significantly reduce the overall downtime:

  • Single Recovery Phase: Patients have to go through the post-operative recovery process once, which can be less disruptive to their daily life and work commitments
  • Synchronised Healing Process: The body heals from both procedures simultaneously, which can be more manageable than recovering from two surgeries at different times
  • Potential for Quicker Return to Normal Activities: While the initial recovery may be slightly more challenging due to the combined nature of the surgeries, the total time taken to return to normal activities is often reduced compared to having two separate recoveries

It’s important to note that the decision to combine these surgeries is based on individual circumstances, including the patient’s overall health, the nature and severity of the hernia, and the specifics of the abdominoplasty. Dr Kernohan will conduct a detailed assessment, including a discussion of medical history, current health status, and the desired outcomes of the surgery.

Combining abdominoplasty with hernia repair surgery in Australia represents a strategic approach to addressing two different issues in a single surgical event. This approach is characterised by its efficiency in terms of both time and resources, as well as the potential to reduce overall recovery time. But it’s essential to have a clear understanding of what the combined procedure entails, including an assessment of any risks and a realistic expectation of the recovery process.

Who is a Candidate for Combined Surgery?

Learning more about who is an ideal candidate can help you determine if this combined surgical approach is suitable for you:

Medical Criteria

The medical suitability for combined surgery is assessed on a case-by-case basis, taking into account several key factors:

  • Overall Health Status: Candidates should be in good general health, with no underlying conditions that could complicate surgery or anaesthesia
  • Stability of Weight: It is preferred that patients have a stable weight for a significant period, as major fluctuations can affect the results of the surgery
  • Type and Severity of Hernia: The nature of the hernia plays a crucial role. Some hernias may be too complex to be effectively addressed in combination with a tummy tuck – abdominoplasty
  • History of Previous Abdominal Surgeries: Previous surgeries and their impact on your abdominal area may influence the feasibility and approach of the combined surgery
  • Absence of Chronic Conditions: Conditions like heart disease, uncontrolled diabetes, or severe respiratory illnesses may pose increased risks during surgery

Lifestyle Considerations

Lifestyle factors are also critical in determining if combined abdominoplasty and hernia repair surgery is right for you:

  • Recovery Time and Support System: You should have the ability to take the necessary time off for recovery and have a support system in place to assist you during the post-operative period
  • Physical Activity Level: A commitment to maintaining a healthy lifestyle post-surgery, including regular physical activity, is important for the longevity of the surgical results
  • Professional and Personal Commitments: Consideration should be given to your work and personal responsibilities, as the recovery might require you to take a break from certain activities
  • Expectations and Goals: Your expectations should be realistic, and the goals of surgery should align with your overall lifestyle and body image aspirations
  • Understanding of Risks and Benefits: You should have a clear understanding of both the potential risks and the anticipated benefits of the combined surgery

Risks and Complications

When considering combined abdominoplasty and hernia repair surgery, it’s essential to have a clear understanding of the potential risks and complications associated with these procedures.

Common Risks of Each Procedure

Both abdominoplasty and hernia repair surgeries, like any surgical procedures, come with inherent risks:

Abdominoplasty Risks

  • Infection at the incision site
  • Blood clots or deep vein thrombosis
  • Unfavourable scarring or wound healing issues
  • Temporary or permanent numbness near the incision area
  • Fluid accumulation under the skin (seroma)

Hernia Repair Risks

  • Recurrence of the hernia
  • Infection at the mesh or repair site
  • Pain or discomfort in the treated area
  • Damage to surrounding organs or tissues
  • Complications related to the use of mesh in repair

When abdominoplasty and hernia repair are performed together, the combined nature of the surgery can influence the overall risk profile:

  • Potential for Increased Complexity: Combining surgeries can increase the complexity of the procedure. This might slightly elevate the risk of complications such as infection or blood clots
  • Anaesthesia Considerations: As the duration of surgery is longer in combined procedures, there is a prolonged exposure to anaesthesia, which carries its own set of risks
  • Impact on Healing Process: The healing process may be affected by the extent of surgery performed. While one recovery period is needed, the recovery itself might be more intensive compared to a single procedure

FAQs about Combining Tummy Tuck – Abdominoplasty and Hernia Repair Surgery


What are the main benefits of combining a tummy tuck – abdominoplasty with hernia repair surgery?

  • Combining a tummy tuck – abdominoplasty with hernia repair surgery offers several benefits, including a single recovery period, reduced overall downtime compared to having two separate surgeries, and potentially lower overall cost. Additionally, patients can achieve both functional and aesthetic improvements in one procedure, altering the abdominal area’s appearance while repairing the hernia.

How do I know if I am a suitable candidate for the combined surgery?

  • Suitability for combined surgery depends on several factors, including your overall health, the type and severity of your hernia, and your goals for abdominoplasty. Ideal candidates are generally those in good health, with a stable weight, and who have both a hernia and a desire for improved abdominal contour. Dr Kernohan will evaluate your medical history, current health status, and surgical goals to determine if this combined approach is appropriate for you.

What does the recovery process entail for combined abdominoplasty and hernia repair?

  • The recovery process after combined surgery involves a period of rest, with limitations on physical activities to ensure proper healing. You may experience discomfort, swelling, and bruising, which can be managed with medications prescribed by Dr Kernohan. Specific instructions on caring for the surgical site, diet, and activity levels will be provided. The total recovery time varies but generally is longer than recovery from a single procedure due to the combined nature of the surgeries.

Are there increased risks with combining these two surgeries?

  • While combining surgeries can be efficient, it may also increase the complexity of the procedure. This can slightly elevate the risks of complications such as infection or blood clots. However, with a skilled surgeon and proper pre-and post-operative care, these risks can be effectively managed. It is important to discuss all potential risks with Dr Kernohan prior to the surgery.

How long do the results of the combined surgery last?

  • The results of combined abdominoplasty and hernia repair surgery can be long-lasting, especially when accompanied by a stable weight and healthy lifestyle. Abdominoplasty results in a more toned and contoured abdomen, while hernia repair strengthens the abdominal wall. Maintaining a healthy diet and regular exercise routine can help preserve the surgical outcomes for many years.

Further Reading about Abdominoplasty with Sydney Specialist Plastic Surgeon Dr Michael Kernohan

Medical References about Abdominoplasty and Hernia Repair Surgery