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abdominoplasty and hernia repair

(14 Posts)
honeydew Thu 16-Jul-09 13:21:50

hi there eveyone-

I'm due to have my spearated abdomen ( rectus muscles) tightened, hernia repaired and abdominoplasty to tighten loose skin in three weeks time. This has happened after the birth of my third child. I am very disfigured by this condition ( have to wear maternity clothes)and often in discomfort but have read so many horror stories about tummy tucks that I want to cancel. I hasten to add, my operation is not out of vanity ( although I'd love to have nmy body back) but because of the complications of my pregnancies.

Has anyone else had this operation, combining hernia and tummy tuck? What was the recovery like? I'm so scared about a general anesthetic and not waking up, fear of internal bleeding ( I bled a lot during me second C- Section) that I just can't face this right now.

Should I perhaps opt to just repair the hernia instead? I have 3 children of 5,31/2 and 2.

What would people recommend? Although I do read some success stories with tummy tuck, it seems so risky and such a long recovery when I have 3 small kiddywinks.

Any advice or eperiences would be really appreciated.

OP’s posts: |
HolyGuacamole Thu 16-Jul-09 22:09:02


ThingOne Fri 17-Jul-09 11:20:16

I've no idea about this operation. I'm sure your quality of life will be better is it is successful, and you'll be fitter and stronger for playing with your children. Three months recovery is nothing in the scheme of things. The recovery will be hard and may feel like it's never ending but one day you'll wake up and feel better than you've felt for years smile.

Although that recent story was horrific, major abdominal surgery is done every day for a variety of reasons and most people come through it well. Of course there are risks with any surgery, and it's not to be undertaken lightly.

Have you talked to your surgeon about his/her record in this type of surgery? How often does he/she do it? Is it successful?

Anaesthetics are hugely improved and much safer than they were.

Is your GP sympathetic? Maybe you could have a chat about it? I've had a lot of major health issues in the past two years and my GP has been a fantastic support and has helped explain a lot of things to me.

minko Fri 17-Jul-09 22:11:14

I had a hernia repair op, after my DD was born. It was fine, very little recovery time.

It all went a bit wrong after my DS was born and my stomach muscles never returned (still a 5cm gap after 3 years) due to the scar tissue from the repair op. I'd love to have the muscles stitched back together but am told it would be too tricky. Still, I only have a bit of a pot belly so it could be worse.

I know that a tummy tuck is quite a daunting op. There is at least one mumsnetter who's had one done... with great results. Not sure of her name though.

copycat Fri 17-Jul-09 23:25:39

Hi honeydew

Well ... I've had a lot of abdominal (and other) surgery so please let me reassure you that it will be okay. I had DS1 by emergency c-section. Like you I bled a lot and in the rush to sew me up the surgeon inadvertently hooked a stitch around my ureter. So a week later they had to open me up again as my kidney was starting to fail. Now that second op was rather painful to be honest. Then, 3 years later, I had DS2 by elective c-section. Then last year I had an abdominal hysterectomy. Silly me, I jokingly asked the gynae surgeon to fit a zip in the incision instead of using stitches as that was the 4th time that scar had been re-opened. Ha! Little did I know that the incision would need to be opened for a 5th time as I was left with an incisional hernia after this surgery.

So, to get to your question, I then (last November) had the hernia repair and apronectomy (which is a mini tummy tuck apparently) carried out together (actually I also had another two other surgical procedures carried out at the same time). To be honest my tummy was not too 'flabby' but the hernia repair incision has to go almost hip to hip anyway - I'd say twice as wide as my previous c-section/hysterectomy scars.

Personally I did not find the post op pain too bad. I was very sore for an hour or so in the recovery room as I had been shrink-wrapped into a very small abdominal binder but as soon as this was changed for a slightly bigger one the pain was okay. I wore the binder for several weeks after the surgery but I had been wearing one before hand to cope with the hernia pain and protrusion anyway. My stomach looked like a small mountain range before the hernia repair grin.

I spent 4 nights in hospital before being discharged and then travelled home fairly comfortably by taxi and train. DH was with me to carry my bag and hold my arm. I spent the following day in bed day but after that I was up and about all day as my Mum was very ill and I spent each of the next 8 days at her bedside (in a different hospital) before she sadly died. It was obviously a very stressful time for me but, even with travelling to and from the hospital and long days at Mum's bedside, I honestly had very little discomfort from my stomach surgery. In fact I was well enough to drive again (my car is automatic though) 3 weeks after the operation.

I'm sorry for regailing you with (some of) my medical history but I hope I have given you some reassurance. You will of course need lots of help with childcare afterwards - my DSs are quite a few years older than your little ones - but if you have that in place then I would say that as your hernia needs to be repaired I would go ahead with the full op. I hope all goes well for you.

honeydew Wed 29-Jul-09 23:59:07

thank you so copycat and this has given me lots of comfort and help. (smile)

OP’s posts: |
kkey21 Sat 01-Aug-09 10:34:26

Honeydew i am also having the same op as you so will be lovely to follow each others stories. x

EmmaDE Wed 05-May-10 19:00:29

Dear Copycat
I'm new to mums net but have found your message very interesting. Sounds like you have been through the mill on the surgery front. How is it all now? I have also had a lot of abdominal surgery starting form when I was 20 and my last op (the 6th) was in 2008. Since that I have developed an incisional hernia which causes me a lot of discomfort, protrudes masses, also on a ridge of scar tissue and took me a long time to get the doctors to acknowledge it. I am now waiting for full pelvic clearance with hernia repair but am worried about it all. I have no pelvic cavity due to masses of adhesions and my organs are stuck together and not where they should be so it's a complicated op. I have seen a hernia specialist today who exlained the problems that may occur in trying to fix it, they can't risk the mesh thing if there is the slightest chance of bowel contamination etc. I'm feeling pretty low about it all as I had a bad time last op and have never felt right since and am worried the hernia might recur anywya even if they can fix it. So it's good to hear that yours has worked out okay?

EmmaDE Wed 05-May-10 19:18:03

Sorry, also meant to ask if anyone can recommend a good support/girdle/belt whatever for an abdominal hernia as I think this could help with the discomfort. Thanks, Emma.

tortoise401 Thu 09-Sep-10 15:40:10

Hi. After years of deliberation and upset I had a full tummy tuck with muscle repair 7 days ago. I had an emergency section 8 years ago, followed by two further pregnancies. The result was 3 gorgeous children but in my eyes a weak abdomen and a fold of overhanging skin. I box 2x a week, aerobics 1x week and run half marathons. Believe me, no amount exercise can remove flaccid skin. I was becoming depressed both with the appearance but also with having to make the choice to go ahead with the operation - I was sobbing as they put me to sleep. Now after 7 days I feel as though an enormous weight has been lifted from my mind. My recovery has been fine, at times not that pleasant (having drains removed, standing up straight) but I feel mentally and physically great and have walked the dog for over an hour today. I do not consider this to be cosmetic surgery, and like to think it was really a correction of my previous section surgery.

abcmum Tue 19-Oct-10 15:09:51

Hi ladies, I am in bed recovering from a 3 hernia repairs and abdominoplasty. I am currently on Day 5 and can honestly say, after bouncing back back from 4 c sections, that this is the most pain I have ever felt. However, today is the best I have felt and I think I can see light at the end of the tunnel. The results are amazing - the tummy tuck for me was a bonus - done as part of the Incisional Hernia Repair - Inc hernia was caused by my 4th csection - I also had an umbilical hernia and a epigastric hernia, that were repaired at the same time. My apron caused by 4 pregnancies and csections is GONE I was also scared on the anaesthetic etc, but it all went well and whole procedure took just over 2 hours.

Wendy1811 Sat 06-Jul-19 07:50:55

New here. Can I ask where you had your abdominalplasty hernia repair done? Was it nhs? Thank you.

Wendy1811 Sat 06-Jul-19 07:53:00

Hi, thanks for posting, can I ask where you had your surgery? And was it done on nhs? My hernia is massive

millymae Sat 06-Jul-19 20:11:50

Emma D - a male family member had an abdominal hernia that was so big he looked 9 months pregnant. He was prescribed an abdominal support by his surgeon to help the discomfort whilst he waited for surgery but when he went to be measured for it the appliance officer suggested he try a lumbar support as he already had one available.
The relief the patient had from this was immeasurable - not only did it relieve some of the discomfort it also pulled in his huge belly so that it wasn’t quite so noticeable.
When he eventually had his operation ( which took over 5 hours to complete because it was so complicated) his recovery was uneventful and pain free. He was in hospital for 7 days but had his drains been quicker to drain he could have probably gone home earlier. In the end he was discharged with 2 of his drains still in place and had these removed a week later as an outpatient.
The difference the operation has made to him in terms of discomfort and shape is amazing. His stomach is not entirely flat but he definitely doesn’t look as though he has a baby inside him anymore. He does however have a huge piece of mesh in there and a scar that runs horizontally across the pubic area and vertically from there up to his chest.

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