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Abdominal wall reconstruction (AWR)

Reconstructive surgery to fix weaknesses in the abdomen

If previous surgery resulted in a damaged or infected area, HCA UK advises how abdominal wall reconstruction can help

About abdominal wall reconstruction

Abdominal wall reconstruction (AWR) can be recommended when the muscles and tissues supporting the abdomen are weakened or destroyed. This is often as a result of a damaged area or infection caused by previous surgery on hernias. This treatment can also be helpful after surgery for the removal of cancers, correcting birth defects or following trauma (accident).

Need to know

  • What happens icon plus

    Depending on your individual situation, your treatment may only require one operation, although sometimes it may be necessary to have more, with recovery periods in-between.

    Surgery involves removing the damaged tissue and reconstructing the abdominal wall with healthy tissues. The following plastic surgical techniques may be used:
    • the creation of flaps of tissue
    • skin grafts
    • mesh implants may be used to strengthen weaker areas, and where muscle has been lost

    Your consultant will determine your treatment on a case by case basis, depending on what’s most appropriate for you.
  • How to prepare icon plus

    Your consultant will explain the process of AWR to you and answer any questions you might have. Operations may involve both a general surgery specialist and a plastic surgeon who operate together on the abdominal contents, abdominal muscles and the overlying soft tissues.

    As with any surgery, there are some risks and side effects involved. Your consultant will explain these to you.

    The treatment is usually carried while you’re asleep under general anaesthetic. We will let you know in advance how long to avoid eating and drinking before your surgery.
  • Afterwards icon plus

    After the procedure, you will be taken to the recovery area, where our dedicated team will look after you.

    After the operation you may experience some pain or discomfort, depending on the type and extent of the surgery you have had. You’ll be given pain relief medication if you need it and we may offer you some pain-relieving medication to take home. The nurses looking after you will tell you how often and when to take them.

    You will require some time off work to recover - again this is dependent upon the type of surgery you have had, and your consultant will discuss this with you during your consultation.
Consultant in theatres

Our abdominal wall consultants

Problems of the abdominal both straight forward and complex are a specialist area for consultants at HCA UK.
We're proud to work with leading experts across a range of medical fields, whose skills are matched by their integrity and compassion.

Our abdominal wall locations

From complex surgery to straightforward procedures, we provide exceptional care across our network of hospitals, outpatient centres and specialist clinics.

  • The Lister Hospital Facility

    The Lister Hospital

    Chelsea Bridge Road


    SW1W 8RH

    Appointments 020 7811 4000

  • The Portland Hospital

    The Portland Hospital

    205 - 209 Great Portland Street


    W1W 5AH

    Children's enquiries 020 7390 8020
    Maternity enquiries 020 7390 6068
    Gynaecology enquiries 020 7390 6200

  • London Bridge Hospital

    London Bridge Hospital

    27 Tooley Street


    SE1 2PR

    Appointments & Enquiries 0207 234 2009
    Imaging Appointments 0207 234 2773

  • The Wellington Hospital

    The Wellington Hospital

    Wellington Place

    London NW8 9LE

    Appointments 0207 483 5148
    Enquiries 020 3131 7478

  • facility-pgh-hero-579x579

    The Princess Grace Hospital

    42-52 Nottingham Place

    London W1U 5NY

    Appointments 0207 908 8001
    Enquiries 020 3130 6833

  • Male-receptionist-greets-male-visitor

    London Digestive Centre

    41 Welbeck Street


    W1G 8DU

    Call 020 7908 8001
    Opening hours Monday - Friday: 8am - 8pm

  • London Digestive Health

    London Digestive Surgery

    41 Welbeck Street


    W1G 8DU

    Call 020 3131 5319
    Opening hours Monday - Friday: 8am - 8pm
    All of our upper GI and colorectal consultant are at our Chiswick clinic on Saturdays

  • The Lister Hospital Facility

    Abdominal Wall and Hernia Unit

    Abdominal Wall Unit

    Chelsea Bridge Road

    London SW1W 8RH

    020 7824 9364

Request an appointment

We're happy to help you make an appointment with one of our experienced consultants.

This content is intended for general information only and does not replace the need for personal advice from a qualified health professional.
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