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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 (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 consultant

We're proud to work with leading experts across a range of medical fields, whose skills are matched by their integrity and compassion.

Our facilities

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

    London

    SW1W 8RH

    Appointments 020 7811 4000
    Enquiries 020 3131 4978

  • The Portland Hospital Facility

    The Portland Hospital

    205 - 209 Great Portland Street

    London

    W1W 5AH

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

  • London Bridge Hospital Facility

    London Bridge Hospital

    27 Tooley Street

    London

    SE1 2PR

    Appointments and Enquiries 020 7234 2009
    Imaging Appointments 020 7234 2773
    Switchboard 020 7407 3100

  • Wellington-south-hero-facility-582-582

    The Wellington Hospital

    Wellington Place

    London NW8 9LE

    Appointments 0207 483 5148
    Enquiries 020 3131 7478

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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