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Birth Control Pills and a Tummy Tuck?

Is it ok to continue taking birth control pills and have a tummy tuck? Is treatment handled any differently if you continue taking them?

Doctor Answers (14)

Blood clot risk

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Birth control pills and estrogen replacement therapy can increase the risk of developing blood clots in the legs. Many surgeons advise stopping them. While timelines are different for each surgeon, I usually recommend stopping for four to six weeks before surgery. However, please ask your surgeon for their advice.


Toronto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 62 reviews

Birth control pills and a tummy tuck

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When we consider a patient for a tummy tuck, the most important consideration is the patient safety. We carefully screen patients and obtain medical clearances when necessary. In the preparation of your tummy Tuck, it is essential that you inform your plastic surgeon of all the medications they were taking and all of your current medical conditions. Especially let your plastic surgeon know if you are taking oral contraceptive pills and if you are a smoker. This is extremely important information. Be sure that you only work with a plastic surgeon who is board-certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. Such a specialist will be able to carefully evaluate you, take into consideration your medications and medical history, and create a surgical plan that will help you meet your goals but more importantly will be safe for you to embark on.

Pat Pazmino, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 66 reviews

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Birth Control Pills Increase the Risk of Blood Clots

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Surgery and taking birth control pills both increase the risk of forming blood clots in the legs--a condition known as deep venous thrombosis or DVT. By stopping birth control pills several weeks ahead of surgery, some of the risk of DVT (which is a serious postopertive complication) can be reduced. 

David Greenspun, MD, MSc
New York Plastic Surgeon

Should oral Contraceptives be stopped prior to tummy tuck?

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Abdominoplasty has a risk of deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolus.  There is no conclusive evidence that oral contraceptives increase the risk with surgery, however, to reduce the risk I advise to stop oral contraceptives at least 2 weeks prior to surgery.

Robert Sleightholm, MD
Brampton Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

Taking Birth Control Pills INCREASES the risk of Blood Clot Formation with Tummy Tuck

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Regarding: "Birth Control Pills and a Tummy Tuck?
Is it ok to continue taking birth control pills and have a tummy tuck? Is treatment handled any differently if you continue taking them
?"

Tummy Tuck surgery is associated with a higher risk of blood clot formation than other shorter operations and those done on other parts of the body. Taking estrogens or birth control pills greatly increases the risk of blood clot formation and even the possibility of clots going to the lungs. As a result, birth control and estrogen supplements should be stopped 2-3 weeks before surgery to reduce these risks.

Dr. Peter Aldea

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 61 reviews

This is controversial

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Although a number of my colleagues feel that Birth Control pills should be stopped, there is no incontroversial evidence that this is a fact. I lead a group at my hospital to study DVT and Pulmonary emboli and had a world class expert in this and he was unable to find real evidence that on had to stop BC pills prior to a tummy tuck.

William B. Rosenblatt, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) and use of Birth control Pills (BCP, oral contraceptives, hormonal therapy)

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There is data to suggest that the risk of a deep venous thrombosis (DVT) are elevated during prolonged anesthetics in patients currently on oral contraceptives. Cessation of these has been advised by some for 4-6 weeks but this is, by no means, a standard practice and may depend on the estrogen content of the medication. It generally will not change the technique but concerns for prhophylactic treatment o DVT such as TEDs/SCDs may be elevated. IF you are at higher risk for DVT consultation with a hematologist for anticoagulant therapy may be an option but his may be asssociated with a higher risk of postoperative bleeding and need for transfusion with its attendant risks.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 44 reviews

Tummy tuck

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Birth control pills and tummy tuck or liposuction are a risky combination.  I have my patients discontinue time prior to surgery.  I wait a while prior to any surgery as well.

Shahin Javaheri, MD
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
3.5 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

No BCPs with a tummy tuck

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A tummy tuck is the riskiest plastic surgery procedure routinely done because of the small but potentially lethal complication known as deep vein thrombosis.  The BCP can increase this risk so I always ask my patients to use alternative birth control.

Richard P. Rand, MD, FACS
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 49 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.