5 Reasons to Receive an Abdominal Wall Reconstruction
- 11 July 2016
- Dr. Mark Broudo
For many people, the concept of an abdominal wall reconstruction is foreign. They often confuse it with the tummy tuck surgery, which is more popular among cosmetic surgery patients.
If your problems abdominal area can be improved with a tummy tuck, then what do you need an abdominal wall reconstruction for?
But the truth is, abdominal wall reconstruction is more than just a cosmetic procedure. Aside from doing what a tummy tuck does—which is removing loose skin, tightening abdominal muscles, and eliminating fat—an abdominal wall reconstruction also has its own set of specific indications that make it an essential procedure for certain patients.
Wondering if you should get an abdominal wall reconstruction? Here are five reasons why you would need one.
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A hernia is a condition wherein an organ pushes through an opening in the muscle or tissue that holds it in place. Hernias are most commonly found in the abdomen, but they can also appear on the upper thighs, belly button, and groin.
Among the different types of hernias, you would need an abdominal wall reconstruction if you have an incisional hernia, which usually occurs after you have had an abdominal surgery. In fact, the rate of an incisional hernia following celiotomy—a procedure that involves a large incision through the abdominal wall to gain access into the abdominal cavity—is three to 20 percent.
After a celiotomy, your abdominal muscles can end up weak and strained, which can then cause a hernia to occur. This can grow larger and even induce pain. Having an abdominal wall reconstruction minimizes the prevalence of incisional hernias, as well as offers great aesthetic improvements that serve to boost your confidence and body image.
Tumors in the abdominal wall
The development of tumors in the abdominal wall is another reason why you should receive an abdominal wall reconstruction. Among all the tumors that are treated with an abdominal wall reconstruction, desmoid tumors are the most common, with almost half of all its occurrences happening in the abdominal wall. Desmoid tumors are lesions that start as benign tumors but often end up being invasive as they frequently re-occur locally and infiltrate adjacent normal tissues and organs.
Other superficial tumors that can be easily removed by this surgery include skin tumors like basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and melanoma—all of which occur in the abdominal skin.
An abdominal wall reconstruction can also be used as a treatment option for malignant tumors, which require aggressive resection of both the skin and subcutaneous tissue. Sarcomas are the most common malignant tumors in the abdominal wall, and they require both aggressive resection and radiotherapy. Intra-abdominal tumors can also be removed.
Abdominal wall defects associated with traumatic abdominal injuries are almost often caused by a penetrating injury, which occurs when an object pierces the skin and enters the body’s tissue, thereby creating an open wound. This can seriously compromise the abdominal wall, hence necessitating an abdominal wall reconstruction.
However, penetrating injuries can cause serious damage to the bowels and other abdominal organs, so these are attended to first. The abdominal wall reconstruction might be delayed and performed in multiple stages.
Soft tissue infections in the abdominal wall are pretty rare, although it can happen as a complication of a previous surgery. A good example of this is when you undergo a mesh repair, which introduces a foreign object into your abdominal wall and puts you at risk for infection. These mesh infections commonly present as draining sinuses over the abdomen. They are highly resistant and do not commonly respond to wound care and antibiotics.
Hence, the best treatment for an abdominal mesh infection requires removal of the infected mesh through surgery, followed by abdominal wall reconstruction. Once again, this surgery is done in stages to prevent further infections from occurring.
The final reason why you should get an abdominal wall reconstruction is after you have undergone bariatric surgery—a surgery performed on the stomach and intestines to induce weight loss.
Right after a bariatric surgery, your abdominal muscles are left in a weakened and damaged state. Through the abdominal wall reconstruction, your abdominal walls are repaired and strengthened, improving its integrity and allowing the muscles to support and protect the body’s organs.
But the procedure’s effects on post-bariatric surgery extends from functional to cosmetic. Abdominal wall reconstruction can also get rid of excess skin and fat hanging from your abdomen, which might eventually lead to health and hygiene problems if not addressed properly. Moreover, removing the excess skin around your midsection can allow you to wear tighter fitting clothing, enjoy improved mobility and range of motion, and make you feel comfortable.
This can help you achieve a higher confidence and self-esteem, proving that the abdominal wall reconstruction is a functional and cosmetic surgery rolled into one.
Whatever your reason for getting an abdominal wall reconstruction is, it is important to first clearly define your goals on why you are getting this procedure? Is it because you want to solve your hernia problem? Are your abdominal walls so weak that you can no longer stand or sit up straight? Do you want to remove the excess skin hanging from your belly? Knowing your objectives can help you determine if your reason for getting the surgery falls under any of the aforementioned indications.
Once you are sure that an abdominal wall reconstruction is what you need, your next step is to choose the right surgeon or clinic in Miami where you can receive the procedure. Many surgeons who offer tummy tuck surgeries do not necessarily offer abdominal wall reconstruction. It is important to find a board-certified surgeon who is specifically well-versed in this type of surgery to ensure the best results and create a positive and long-lasting outcome.
If you need more help figuring out whether or not an abdominal wall reconstruction is right for you, schedule a Free Consultation with one of our board-certified surgeons here on Face + Body Cosmetic Surgery and we will do our best to answer your questions.