The complexity associated with abdominal wall defects, coupled with the development of specialised techniques mean this procedure falls largely within the domain of expert reconstructive surgeons.
The primary outcome of an abdominal wall reconstruction is to restore the structural and functional continuity of the underlying muscular system, often in combination with an improved aesthetic outcome.
Rectus Muscle Separation
Separation of the rectus abdominis muscles (divarication) is commonly seen following childbirth. It presents with a ridge-like protrusion down the centre of the abdomen and may be associated with lower back and abdominal pain. Surgical treatment repositions and tightens the muscles and results in a flatter, stronger stomach. Although this can be approached via a vertical midline incision, it is more common to undertake this procedure via a lower 'tummy tuck' incision, allowing for removal of any excess skin and fatty tissue.
Routine and Complex Hernia Repair
Hernias affect 5 percent of the population at some time in their lives. They occur when the inside layers of the abdominal wall weaken then bulge or tear allowing the inner lining of the abdomen to push through. A hernia becomes complex when repeated surgical attempts to close the hole in the abdominal wall fail. The chances of surgery being successful diminish with each successive operation. The surrounding tissue may need to be augmented or replaced by surgical mesh. This may occur in areas of previous surgical scars, around the umbilicus, or in the groin area. Expert experienced reconstructive surgical intervention is crucial for an optimal outcome in this specialised are of surgery.