Many of us have hernias we live with: in the belly button, in the groin, in a previous surgical site. As a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon, I see many men and women with hernias who present to me for treatment of the hernia. Sometimes I see patients relatively soon after hernia repair has already taken place, with an abdominal contour that they would like to treat: too much skin, lax musculature, and/or unsatisfactory scars that may be totally unrelated to the hernia. I like to live life in as efficient manner as possible, so if I can effectively kill 2 birds with one stone, I will. General surgeons and plastic surgeons often collaborate together to take care of different surgical issues in a single patient at the same time. And why not a 2 for 1? While you get the hernia fixed, the abdominal contouring procedure can take place.
There are so many benefits beyond surgical time savings. You have one recovery period, often unaltered by performing the additional plastic surgical procedure. With the collaborative effort you can get the best possible result for both procedures. If there is no communication, the general surgeon may do something in the hernia repair that cuts out contouring alternatives. Two heads are better than one! Finally, there is a financial savings, as stand alone cosmetic surgical procedures cost more than one tacked onto a reconstructive, insured procedure. In light of all of the benefits, be proactive and talk to your general surgeon if you desire to get more than a hernia repair out of the surgical procedure.