Abdominal Wall Reconstruction

What is Abdominal Wall Reconstruction?

Abdominal wall reconstruction is the surgical repair of the abdominal wall to restore its integrity. The abdominal wall controls urination, defecation, and coughing. It protects your internal organs and supports the spine to maintain an upright position.

Indications for Abdominal Wall Reconstruction

Abdominal wall reconstruction is mostly indicated in people with trauma or an incisional hernia, a condition caused due to herniation (protruding through) of the abdomen through an incision from a previous surgery. Risk factors for an incisional hernia include severe infection, aging, obesity, immunosuppression, and previous abdominal surgery.

Preparation Before Surgery

Your doctor will perform a complete physical examination before the surgery to make sure you don’t have any conditions that could negatively affect the surgical outcome. Talk to your doctor about the medicines you are taking and those you should stop taking prior to the procedure. Inform your doctor if you are allergic to any medicines or anesthesia.

Abdominal Wall Reconstruction Procedure

Your surgeon may perform open surgery or laparoscopic surgery depending on your health condition. The procedure is performed under general anesthesia.

  • Open surgery: In this procedure, a large incision is made in the abdomen. The protruding tissue or organ is pushed back to its original position and secured by sutures. A specially designed synthetic mesh patch is then sewn over the weakened area in the abdominal wall to reinforce the abdominal wall, reducing the risk of hernia recurrence.
  • Laparoscopic surgery: In this procedure, your surgeon makes a few small incisions on your abdomen to insert the laparoscope (a flexible tube-like camera) and other surgical instruments. Carbon dioxide gas is introduced to help your surgeon view the surgical site more clearly. Images captured by the laparoscope on a video monitor guide your surgeon through the surgery. Your surgeon separates the hernia sac from the surrounding tissues. The other surgical instruments inserted along with the laparoscope are used to push the organs back into their original position. A special mesh is secured by sutures, staples or tacks behind the abdominal muscles to reinforce the abdominal wall and minimize the risk of hernia recurrence.

Complications of the Surgery

Complications are rare but can occur with any surgery. Some of the complications that can occur include mesh infection, surgical site infection, or necrosis (tissue death) of the skin.


Your doctor may not perform abdominal wall reconstruction surgery if you are:

  • Diabetic
  • Obese
  • Allergic to anesthesia
  • Prone to surgical site infections

Talk to your doctor to determine the best treatment option for you.