An abdominal wall reconstruction is a complex and advanced surgical procedure utilized to correct abdominal weaknesses commonly caused by recurring hernias, or otherwise unresolved open wounds. Normally the first path for hernia correction is general surgery. However, when this route falters, meaning the repair falters, this alternative solution should be considered.
The front portion of the abdomen is a complex structure consisting of overlapping muscles and tendons crucial to providing strength to the body. It is a crucial part of the body which nobody can afford to sacrifice. The surgical team at Minimally Invasive Bariatrics and Dr. Bello have performed many abdominal wall reconstructions and are experts in both traditional and laparoscopic procedures.
What is the procedure?
The abdominal wall reconstruction is an intricate procedure requiring the transfer of abdominal tissue to facilitate the redistribution of the abdominal muscles. The goal of the surgery is to reinforce the integrity of the abdomen, support the abdominal muscles, protect the intra-abdomen organs and prevent the intestines from protruding through the abdominal wall. During the procedure, our trained surgical team will rearrange the abdominal muscles to effectively eliminate the weakness. This newly positioned muscle in most cases is reinforced with surgical mesh to prevent relapse. This mesh is eventually incorporated into the body, creating a stronger boundary. This creates a dynamic repair, working to reinforce the midline closure.
Why might I need an abdominal wall reconstruction?
There are any number of conditions which may require a patient to undergo an abdominal wall reconstruction. The most common occurrences requiring this surgical procedure are hernias. The list of conditions includes:
- Abdominal Hernias: These may have several different names and variance in symptoms depending on the specific area of the hernia, but in general, this type of hernia occurs when the abdominal muscles become too weak. This weakness causes them to split apart, allowing fatty tissues or part of your bowel to protrude and press upon the muscles. These include incisional hernias, umbilical hernias, and ventral hernias. This is a particularly disturbing hernia because its size and severity may increase over time.
- Incisional Hernia: This hernia appears at or close-by an old surgical scar. Typically this happens when fatty tissue or part of the bowel is the culprit, pushing through weakened muscle. At MIB we can often repair these types of hernia using minimally invasive or robotic techniques to correct and recreate the abdominal structure and integrity.
- Umbilical Hernia: An umbilical hernia develops when part of the intestine pushes through the umbilical opening in the abdominal muscles. This is a common hernia which are usually less dangerous, however it can sometimes have serious consequences for adults. In addition, umbilical hernias are also common in women after pregnancy.
These conditions may be reasons for an abdominal wall reconstruction… however this is not binary and each patient will receive an individual recommendation from our surgical team based on our experience. The hernias leading to abdominal wall reconstruction are usually larger and more complicated. Smaller hernias can sometimes be fixed with no mesh.
What can I expect before surgery?
Abdominal wall reconstruction is very much an individual patient-based procedure, with a great variance in preparation requirements in accordance with the difference in patients’ needs. Dr. Bello and the team at MIB will speak extensively with you about surgery preparation steps and help craft a surgical plan perfect for you.
What can I expect for recovery?
The variance in recovery expectations directly correlates to the variance in the severity of the patient’s condition and extent of surgery performed. If you undergo this procedure Dr. Bello and the surgical team will discuss recovery expectations with you at length.