Q: Dr. Eppley, I have had two abdominal surgeries. The first was a hepatic bypass and the last one was a partial hepatectomy. My last surgery was complicated with infection at the organ level as well as an incisional hernia. The surgeon plans to surgically repair the hernia in May or June of 2016. I am interested in having a tummy tuck at the same time. I am not sure if I am a candidate or not. Would need to know if the two surgeries can be done at the same time.
A: The question you ask about a concurrent tummy tuck done at the same time as an abdominal wall reconstruction (hernia repair) is determined based on the consideration of multiple issues. First I would have to see pictures of your abdomen to determine the tissue excess and the location of your current abdominal scars. The location of certain abdominal scars may preclude or at least potentially complicate healing of the tummy tuck incision. Secondly, you would have to be in good medical health (which I would assume you would be for a hernia repair), on no immunosuppression drugs and be a non-smoker. I would need to know more about your medical history. Lastly there is the economics of doing a cosmetic surgery procedure in a hospital. While many patients think that most of the cost of the surgery would be covered by insurance because one is already asleep and having surgery, that is not the case. Hospitals are well aware of what is being done and will hold the patient accountable for the time and costs of the tummy tuck surgery, including OR costs and anesthesia, up front.
Dr. Barry Eppley