Hernia repair and abdominoplasty in gastric bypass patients

Michele A. Shermak

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: Patients who sustain massive weight loss after open gastric bypass surgery are prone to incisional hernias. The authors undertook a retrospective study with two objectives: to characterize this patient population at their institution and to review their experience with treatment of incisional hernias in massive weight loss patients who had open gastric bypass surgery. With increasing prevalence of such patients, the authors aim to improve understanding and treatment of this disease entity and thereby improve patient outcomes. METHODS: Operating room records and the patient database of the primary plastic surgeon treating massive weight loss patients at an academic teaching institution were retrospectively reviewed. Incisional hernia was often diagnosed before surgery but confirmed intraoperatively. Surgical management included primary repair of the hernia with plication of the abdominal wall from xiphoid to pubis and removal of redundant abdominal skin. RESULTS: From February of 2001 to December of 2003, 40 patients had hernia repair in combination with abdominoplasty. Average age was 42 years, and average weight loss was 152 pounds. Average body mass index at the time of plastic surgery was 35.6. Average abdominal skin resection was 9.9 pounds. Hernia recurred in one patient with a body mass index of 41.3 after heavy lifting within 1 year of hernia repair surgery. Other complications included wound-healing problems (20 percent); seroma (12.5 percent); bleeding requiring surgical take-back (2.5 percent); suture abscess requiring surgical removal of suture (7.5 percent); bleeding anastomotic ulcer requiring transfusion (2.5 percent); and fatal pulmonary embolus (2.5 percent). Of the group, 60 percent had uncomplicated healing. CONCLUSIONS: Hernias are safely and preferentially repaired at the time of removal of redundant abdominal panniculus after massive weight loss sustained from gastric bypass surgery. The authors present their approach to hernia repair and abdominoplasty in this patient group, with acceptable results.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1145-1150
Number of pages6
JournalPlastic and reconstructive surgery
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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