Plastic Surgery Complications After Gastric Bypass?

I had gastric bypass surgery on 4/10. I have lost 133lbs. My gastric bypass surgery had complications. I had to have a second surgery to fix a large leak in my stomach pouch, which left me with a large scar down the center of my belly. I also developed a large seroma under my incision and had to pack it with gauze for 3 weeks. I know that I am going to need an upper and lower body lift in order to remove all the skin. My concern is, will I also have complications with plastic surgery?

Doctor Answers (11)

Complications after gastric bypass do not mean complications after body lift will occur!

+2

Congratulations on your weight loss! You have made a huge positive step in your own health, and now are even better equipped to deal with elective plastic surgery to remove excess skin! Your weight should be stable, your blood tests in line with your surgeon's and your internist's goals, and you should be tolerating your present diet and vitamin intake without problems.

However, complications after gastric bypass are not uncommon, and you have successfully weathered two separate ones. Now that you are healed and healthier than before, you have no higher potential for complications than any other similar patient undergoing elective body lift, brachioplasty, breast lift, thigh lift, or whatever you are considering. There are risks and potential complications with ANY surgical procedure, even elective ones, and these should be discussed and considered carefully before asking your plastic surgeon to proceed.

In over 250 outpatient body lift procedures done in our accredited office surgical facility over the past 14 years, we have had no deaths, heart attacks, or strokes, and our overall complication rate is 11%. So, yes, things can and do occur, but a well-trained, experienced, Board-certified (American Board of Plastic Surgery) plastic surgeon is not only able to deal with and successfully treat the vast majority of any patient's concerns or complications, but hopefully avoid most of them!


Minneapolis Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 106 reviews

Complications with plastic surgery

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I am glad to hear you are doing well, your course was difficult but your courage to take on the risk of the gastric bypass has led you to be a fitter, healthier person and you should live a longer and better quality of life for it.  Congratulations!  Any surgery with large incisions is more prone to infection and seroma.  Two things to keep in mind this time around, 1) You are a healthier person, and 2) With these next set of surgeries you will not have to be intra-abdominal where the risk for complications can be high.  Good luck.

Vishnu Rumalla, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 65 reviews

Healing complications after massive weight loss plastic surgery

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Probably no cosmetic plastic surgery is more prone to healing complications than that which is done for massive weight loss.  But just because you had problems before doesn't necessarily mean you will have them again.. It is key to go to the best doctor and to stage the procedures into reasonable groups.

Richard P. Rand, MD, FACS
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 47 reviews

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Plastic Surgery Complications After Gastric Bypass?

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No of us wishes any patient have a complication but things happen no matter how careful the surgeon is. Seek many evaluations in person. From MIAMI DR. darryl J. Blinski

Darryl J. Blinski, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
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Plastic Surgery Complications After Gastric Bypass

+1

Congratulations on your weight loss!! Your life will be richly rewarded for having gone through the procedure and lost the weight.  To answer your question, once you have lost the weight your risk of complication decreases dramatically. That having been said your case is a more complicated one due to the fact you had previous complications. I would recommend that you discuss your case with a surgeon (Board Certified Plastic Surgeon), whom you feel comfortable  with and has experience with this type of procedure. Also staging your procedures will give you the best chance of healing without a complication. Good Luck!

Paul Vitenas, Jr., MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
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Body lift surgery and complications

+1

After your weight loss has plateaued after gastric bypass, then you can consider a body contouring procedure such as a body lift.  Your weight should be stable for at least six months and all your wounds should be fully healed from the gastric bypass surgery.  It will be important to obtain medical clearance from your primary care physician to determine that it is safe to undergo the body lift- chest x-ray, EKG, lab tests.  An important lab test will be your albumin, which is a protein that serves as an indicator of your overall nutrition and is critical for adequate wound healing.

The most important complication with the surgery is called a DVT (deep vein thrombosis) which is a blood clot that can form in your legs. It is important to walk early after surgery to minimize this risk. Your surgeon may also consider giving you Lovenox, which is an anti-coagulant after surgery to prevent this from occurring. Seromas are minimized by leaving drains in place for one to two weeks.

Best wishes,

Dr. Bruno

William Bruno, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 134 reviews

Body lift

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Performing a body lift when there is a midline scar may minimally increase the risk of complications. You should reach you stable weight for 6 months and maintain optimal nutrition prior to underoging any body contouring procedure. Other medical problems such as continue obesity and diabetes are more likely to affect the complication rate.

David L. Abramson, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
3.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

Body lift

+1

Once you have gotten down to you goal weight, your risks of complications goes down as well.  You may at a slight increased risk as compared to other patients, but if all healed well after tthe complicaiton it should be okay.

Steven Wallach, MD
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 15 reviews

Body Lift after gastric bypass-risks

+1

A body lift is a completely different operation from a gastric bypass.  The lifts are performed after the weight is lost and the procedures involve excess skin and fat with no entrance into the abdominal cavity where your organs are located.  Although body lifts are not risk-free, complications that occurred with your gastric bypass should not put you at a higher risk with a body lift.

Bruce Genter, MD
Abington Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

Preparing for Plastic surgery after Bariatric Surgery

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Many patients who have undergone massive weight loss after bariatric surgery consider plastic surgery to help them get rid of the excess skin and fat.    There is a relatively higher complication rate for patients  who have undergone  bariatric surgery when undergoing plastic surgical procedures.  This is especially true for patients who have had a procedure which includes a malabsorptive aspect.  These procedures ( Roux-en-Y, duodenal switch)  help patients lose weight by not only restricting the amount of food that they can eat but also by limiting the absorption.  This may also lead to nutritional deficits  .  Sometimes these deficits are subtle but the stress of a plastic surgical procedure can uncover them.  For patients who have had bariatric surgery it is important to make sure that they are in the best possible nutritional state by checking their labs ( especially Iron and protein stores ), correcting any deficiencies found well before the surgery, and continuing on their  vitamin and protein regimens before and after the plastic surgery.

Susan E. Downey, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 4 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.