Abdominal Wall Reconstruction Miami (Hernia Repair Surgery): A Comprehensive Guide
An abdominal wall reconstruction Miami is not usually something that is served straight up from a cosmetic surgeon’s menu of services. In fact, many people prefer getting a tummy tuck because it is the more popular abdominal procedure that gives you a flat tummy and contoured abs.
But if you want to get the same effects that the tummy tuck provides and at the same time need to solve certain medical problems in your abdomen resulting from weak abdominal walls, then you may want to consider getting an abdominal wall reconstruction instead.
Read on to learn everything about this revolutionary procedure and figure out whether this one is right for you.
About the Abdominal Wall Reconstruction Miami
An abdominal wall reconstruction or hernia repair is a modification of a tummy tuck that involves repairing and strengthening the walls of the abdomen that have been damaged or weakened.
The abdominal wall’s function is to protect the abdominal organs, maintain upright posture, support the spine, and assist in some activities like urination and defecation. These functions are impaired once the abdominal wall is damaged, usually because of hernias, tumors, or trauma.
Hence, the goal of an abdominal wall reconstruction is to improve the integrity of the abdominal wall, support the abdominal muscles, and protect the organs beneath them.
This procedure is commonly performed on patients who underwent bariatric surgery, although it can also be done as a treatment for a number of medical conditions. If done to improve your abdomen’s appearance, an abdominal wall reconstruction can be combined with a liposuction to remove excess fat and sagging skin from the midsection. This can further reduce the strain on the abdominal wall, which could lead to further complications.
Since an abdominal wall reconstruction is a highly invasive procedure, you should undergo this surgery if you want to address certain medical problems. According to Medscape, there are several indications for an abdominal wall reconstruction Miami.
One of them is the presence of a hernia, a condition wherein an organ pushes through an opening in the muscles or tissue that holds it in place. 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. Having an abdominal wall reconstruction not only fixes an incisional hernia but also provides great aesthetic improvements that serve to boost your confidence and body image.
Another reason is the development of tumors. An abdominal wall reconstruction can be used as a treatment option for both benign and malignant tumors, which require aggressive resection of both the skin and subcutaneous tissue.
Injuries and Infections
Traumatic, penetrating injuries and infections also compromise the abdominal wall, hence necessitating an abdominal wall reconstruction. But in this case, the surgery might be delayed and performed in multiple stages as life-threatening injuries to other abdominal organs are prioritized.
If you recently underwent bariatric surgery, you might also want to get an abdominal wall reconstruction surgery. 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.
Learn more about these indications in the 5 Reasons to Receive an Abdominal Wall Reconstruction.
You are a good candidate for an abdominal wall reconstruction plastic surgery if you are generally in good health and you have a medical condition that necessitates the procedure. As previously mentioned, such conditions include hernias, tumors, abdominal infections, penetrating injuries, and recent bariatric surgery. In some instances, you may need to undergo abdominal wall reconstruction in multiple stages so as not to compromise your health.
If you also want to get the cosmetic benefits of an abdominal wall reconstruction, it will also help if you reach your ideal weight prior to surgery. This will make it easier for your surgeon to trim down excess skin and fat. A leaner body can also help you prevent weight gain the weeks immediately after surgery when you are restricted from doing any strenuous physical activity. Alternatively, you can choose to undergo liposuction together with your abdominal wall reconstruction.
Ideally, you should stop smoking at least two weeks before the surgery, as smoking constricts blood vessels and reduces the flow of oxygen throughout the body, thereby interfering with your normal healing process. Certain medications, vitamins, and nutritional supplements may also need to be stopped, as they can increase the risk for complications, like blood clots. Such drugs include hormone replacement therapy, birth control pills, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications, aspirin, fish oil, and post-cancer treatments.
Having a stable weight is needed before you undergo abdominal wall reconstruction unless it is a medical emergency and the procedure needs to be done immediately. If you are getting this procedure to strengthen your abdominal wall after a bariatric surgery, surgeons recommend waiting for around 12 to 18 months post-bariatric surgery.
If you are planning to become pregnant in the future, it is not recommended to undergo abdominal wall reconstruction plastic surgery unless it is absolutely necessary. Pregnancy stretches the skin and separates the abdominal muscles, undoing everything that has been done in your abdominal wall reconstruction.
After the surgery, you need to keep in mind that abdominal reconstruction surgery recovery will take weeks, even months, due to the invasiveness of the procedure. Allow enough time for significant post-operative care and rest. In addition, you have to be ready for abdominal scarring. Fortunately, cosmetic surgeons try to minimize the appearance of scars by making incisions in areas that will be covered even by skimpy clothing like bathing suits.
Though the abdominal wall reconstruction is considered a permanent solution in terms of repairing abdominal muscle problems and weaknesses, the effects of liposuction and skin tightening are not permanent. This means that as time goes by, age and gravity will take a toll on your body and will still affect your midsection’s appearance, despite getting an abdominal wall reconstruction.
Abdominal Wall Reconstruction Miami vs. Tummy Tuck Miami
Also known as abdominoplasty, the tummy tuck is an abdominal cosmetic surgery that involves the removal of loose skin, tightening of abdominal muscles, and elimination of stubborn fat deposits. This results in a more contoured and better-looking figure. It is a procedure that is popular among both men and women, especially those who have undergone dramatic body changes like weight loss or pregnancy.
The tummy tuck comes in different types, namely complete, extended, circumferential, endoscopic, and mini tummy tuck. They often differ in the type and extent of incisions, but they all have the same purpose of tightening the abdominal muscles.
On the other hand, an abdominal wall reconstruction surgery is more than just a cosmetic procedure. It aims to repair any defects in the abdominal wall and restore function and support to its skeletal structure. While a traditional tummy tuck only addresses the skin, tissue, fat, and some muscles in the abdomen, an abdominal wall reconstruction focuses on repairing and strengthening weakened or damaged muscular structures within the abdominal wall. It improves the integrity of the abdominal wall, supports its muscles, and protects the organs beneath it.
This type of surgery is commonly performed for patients who underwent bariatric surgery. It is also recommended for various abdominal defects such as the presence of tumors, hernia, and trauma.
For a more detailed look on the difference between abdominal wall reconstruction and tummy tuck, click on this article.
During an abdominal wall reconstruction, you will be put under general anesthesia, as this is an invasive procedure that can take anywhere from two to six hours. It is also done inpatient, so you may need to stay in the hospital for one to three nights after the surgery to allow for full recovery.
An incision is made above the pubic area–the lower end of your abdomen–extending from hip to hip. The abdominal muscles are rearranged and reinforced to prevent recurring hernias or other problems, hence eliminating the defect.
Some patients with large open wounds require skin grafts to heal. These may be taken from the leg, and then placed on the surface of an open wound.
The mesh may be used to reinforce the abdominal muscles while closing the abdominal wall. It can either be biological–consisting of animal tissue–or synthetic. The advantages of using mesh prosthetics are availability, the absence of donor site morbidity, and added strength on the abdominal walls. On the other hand, it can also make you more susceptible to infections, bowel erosion, and adhesion formation. The choice of mesh prosthetics depends on the preferences of your surgeon as well as your own.
After the muscles are tightened, liposuction may also be performed so as to remove excess fat and tone the appearance of your abdomen. Excess skin may also be removed.
Just like any other surgery, preparation for an abdominal wall reconstruction surgery entails a thorough patient history and physical examination. Patients older than 35 years need to get chest radiographs and ECG on top of the usual laboratory studies. Those with a history of pulmonary problems should undergo pulmonary function tests, while those with a history of diabetes or chest pain should get appropriate cardiac risk evaluation. The patient may also need to undergo a CT scan to determine the size and location of the defects.
Once the patient has been cleared for surgery, bowel preparation is done the night before the abdominal wall reconstruction. The patient should also receive prophylactic antibiotics to minimize the risk of getting infections after the surgery.
Abdominal wall reconstruction surgery recovery time can take anywhere from two to four weeks, after which you may resume normal daily activities, as well as work. If working out is part of your routine, you can resume regular exercises in about six weeks. However, you may do some moderate walking early on to aid the healing process. It is important to maintain a healthy diet after abdominal wall reconstruction plastic surgery to make sure that you supply yourself with the nutrients needed for faster healing.
If needed, some drainage tubes might be placed in your abdominal region to prevent fluid accumulation on the site of the surgery. These bottles are attached to tubes, which should be emptied two to three times a day. You also need to have your bandages changed several times a day. After the surgery, you will need to wear a support or compression garment around your stomach for several weeks to minimize the risk of developing blood clots.
To decrease pain and discomfort, your doctor might prescribe you over-the-counter analgesics. Antibiotics can also be given to reduce the risk of infection.
Avoid direct sun exposure on the incision site to prevent highly visible scarring. You may also apply petroleum jelly, silicone sheets, and silicone cream on your scars to minimize their appearance.
Risks and Side Effects
Since this major surgery uses general anesthesia, you might experience the common side effects of anesthesia use, like nausea, vomiting, dry mouth, sore throat, shivering, sleepiness, and hoarseness. Other risks include excessive bleeding, wounds, infections, and seromas–the build-up of fluid under the skin. However, it can be remedied by attaching drainage tubes to the incision site for a few days after surgery.
A sudden sharp increase in intra-abdominal pressure might also happen during the surgery once the contents of your abdominal cavity are returned. There is also the potential for nerve injury, thereby leading to loss of sensation. In general, sensation returns to patients over a few weeks or months. However, there are instances in which sensation is lost permanently due to nerve damage. Choosing an experienced and qualified cosmetic surgeon to do the abdominal wall reconstruction for you can drastically minimize these abdominal reconstructive surgery complications.
The average price of an abdominal wall reconstruction in Miami is similar to a tummy tuck, which is around $5,500. However, the specific cost depends on your cosmetic surgeon’s assessment of the extent and scope of the procedure. It still does not include anesthesia, medical testing, post-operative care and follow-up, and hospital stay.
But unlike a tummy tuck, an abdominal wall reconstruction is often classified as a medically essential procedure. That means that if it is done for the treatment of medical issues like hernias, your abdominal wall reconstruction will be covered by insurance. Hence, you need to know exactly which costs will be covered by your insurance policy.
Though the price of the treatment should be part of your decision-making process, keep in mind that this should not be your sole basis. The experience, expertise, and quality of your chosen cosmetic surgeon should be your utmost priority.
Choosing an Abdominal Wall Reconstruction Miami Surgeon
Choosing a surgeon and clinic for your abdominal wall reconstruction is absolutely essential. You need to carefully evaluate the experience, expertise, skills, and training of your chosen surgeon to figure out if he is the right man for this delicate job.
You can get an idea what a certain plastic surgeon is like by reading online ratings and reviews, as well as researching his background information. You can also get referrals from a trusted physician.
Research also regarding the surgeon’s team, as you want to be fully confident and trusting of the individuals you choose to work with. You should be able to ask questions, receive feedback, and speak honestly with these people.
Ultimately, you need to be able to create a plan together with your surgeon that incorporates any health issues that need to be resolved, together with your desired outcomes in terms of your physical appearance.
Keep in mind that not all plastic surgeons who offer tummy tucks also offer abdominal wall reconstruction, so you should be clear in differentiating the two to ensure the best results.
Abdominal wall reconstruction Miami combines medical benefits with improved aesthetics and physical appearance, hence making it a one-of-a-kind surgery. Still have questions? Let us know by calling us or leaving a message on our Face + Body Cosmetic Surgery site, and we will be sure to connect you with one of our board-certified surgeons.
Our Abdominal Wall Reconstruction Patient Photos