There are a variety of reasons why the abdominal wall may lose function. Childbirth with its resultant stretching and changing of the structure of the muscles and fascia is the most common reason in females. Other reasons in all populations include obesity and weight loss (from surgery or otherwise), prior abdominal surgery, and prior trauma. Any process, in fact, which changes the structural integrity of the abdominal wall can cause abdominal wall dysfunction.
One of the resulting pathologies we see is hernias and an eventration of the fascia of the abdomen. The fascia is the powerful connective tissue which holds the structure together. If this occurs, a portion of the abdominal wall may bulge forward resulting in an obvious abnormality. This is NOT a normal phenomenon.
If this occurs, evaluation by a healthcare professional is important. In some cases, simple physical therapy can restore form and function. However, insignificant to severe cases, surgery to close the defect or reconstruct the abdominal wall is essential. THIS IS NOT A COSMETIC PROCEDURE.
Surgery on the abdominal wall can be performed to restore function and promote proper sequencing and kinetic movement patterns. This often enables the patients to engage in healthy activity, and commonly, weight loss along with other health benefits, are gained.
In order to reconstruct the abdominal wall, multiple methods may be used. The current, and in many cases most effective, is the Component Separation Technique, where Myofascial Flaps are created, and a mesh is inserted to help add strength to the reconstruction. This method is usually performed by highly experienced surgeons who have been perfecting the technique for decades.