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Abdominal Wall Reconstruction - what happens in clinic

What happens in clinic

The York Abdominal Wall Unit has set up a combined clinic with a gastrointestinal surgeon and a plastic surgeon.

  • Patients are assigned a 30-minute appointment. This involves reviewing documentation and the information you have collected by filling in the health questionnaire.
  • We determine the size of the hernia and calculate both your personal risks in having surgery and the risks of the wound breaking down. We review factors like smoking, diabetes, obesity, malnutrition and suggest strategies to help you control and modify these risk factors, we use an assessment form in the clinic.
  • If you need dietary modification you will be seen in a specialised nutritionist clinic which runs in parallel. There the dietician measures your height, weight and additional features. A dietary plan is agreed with you, information leaflets provided, and a time frame agreed for review. A follow up plan is put in place to monitor your weight loss and your physical strength.
  • We will suggest exercises that you will need to do in order to become fitter for surgery. We will provide an information leaflet on this with details on how to exercise.
  • We then send you to the medical photography studio to have your photographs taken, if you consent to this. You are not identifiable in the photograph. The photographs and videos (with the consent form for photography) are securely stored and accessed within the framework of Information Governance of the Hospital. Only those who are involved in your care access the photographs. The photographs may be used for research and training as York is a teaching hospital but only with your written consent.
  • We would suggest management decisions including whether you will need further tests like a CT scan or colonoscopy, please see more for information about colonoscopy here.
  • If we need to assess your fitness for surgery we will make an appointment for you with an anaesthetist.
  • If you need to become fitter for surgery we will provide support. You will be given a leaflet with detailed information on what you need to do.
  • When you become fit and are at the stage for proceeding with surgery we will meet with you again and talk through the different operations available so that you can make an informed choice. We have written detailed information on the operations (Complex Abdominal Wall Hernia includes Stoppa Mesh Repair and Component Separation Techniques) including risks and benefits so we can help you reach that decision. We also provide information on recovering from major abdominal surgery which we hope will help you.
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