Abdominal Wall Reconstructive Surgery

Sometimes a patient can have a loss of their abdominal wall due to surgical complications, traumatic injuries or herniation. Not only can this be aesthetically dissatisfying for the patient, but they can experience a great deal of abdominal pain from the bulge of their abdominal organs through this defect. Reconstruction of these defects is ideally performed with autologous tissues (your own tissues), however biologic materials or synthetic meshes can be used for restoring the integrity musculofascial structures.

We offer the following procedures:

  • Abdominal tissue expanders – This is a two step procedure. 
    • In the first step, tissue expanders are placed under the skin and remaining muscles of the abdomen. During office visits over the next three to four months, these tissue expanders are inflated with sterile saline. 
    • During the second step, the tissue expanders are removed and the closure of the abdomen is performed.
  • Component separation – This is a surgery during which the various layers of the abdominal wall muscles and fascia are divided and then used to attempt closure of the abdomen.
  • Local or regional flap – Sometimes the abdominal defect is too large and complex to be closed using one of the above methods, so a local flap may be needed to achieve closure. This is when we take tissue from a nearby region to help with the defect; often, this is from the thigh.
  • Free flap – Sometimes a local flap is not the best option for a patient and we must turn to using a free flap. Often, this tissue is taken from your back using the latissimus dorsi muscle.