Q: I had bilateral surgery with skin sparing mastectomy 2 months ago. I had considered the flap reconstruction, but have a stomach hernia. What are your thoughts on that?

A: Thank you for your question. Your question indicated that you have had mastectomy already and that you considered using your own tissue but did not because of a hernia in the abdominal region. My thoughts regarding the hernia are, it depends on what type of hernia and exactly where the hernia is. If it is a small hernia around the belly button region, then often that is not a problem and the hernia may be repaired during the flap procedure or at a later time but will not impact the ability to do a flap procedure.

Other larger hernias especially ones that have already been repaired or ones that have occurred following another surgery can be more significant. The overwhelming majority of women who have hernias can still use their own tissue but in some it may be best to considering tissue from another area of the body instead of the tummy area. If you would like to give me more specific information about your hernia, like where it is, how long it’s been there , has it been repaired already or have you had any other surgeries on your tummy then I could give you more specific information. Again thank you for the question and I hope you are having a quick recovery from your recent surgery.

--Dr. James Craigie MD