I have had three c-section and am considering a Tummy Tuck. I also have lupus. Is it safe?
Tummy Tuck for Patient with Lupus After 3 C-sections?
Doctor Answers (7)
Tummy tuck no good for lupus patient.
I am sorry to disappoint you, but in Manhattan we would not do a tummy tuck on a patient with lupus. The risk of complications is just too high.
Tummy Tuck in Lupus
A tummy tuck will be very high risk surgery for you as far as wound healing and chance of skin necrosis goes.
You may have healed well from your c-section but that is entirely a different operation and does not require lifting flaps. Most surgeons would be reluctant to offer you elective surgery such as ones that require lifting flaps, i.e. tummy tuck, breast lift, facelift.
Tummy Tuck in a patient with Lupus
There is a significant difference between your c-section procedures and your tummy tuck-
Your c-sections were necessary.
In other words, if your surgery had been complicated by a large open wound that required months to heal, and left you with an unsightly scar, it would have been easier to deal with for you, considering you had a successful delivery of a beautiful child as a result of the surgery.
On the other hand, having the same complication after a procedure to IMPROVE your appearance would make the above complication difficult to accept.
If you were my wife, sister, or mother, I would probably advise you against it.
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Tummy Tuck for Lupus patient needs full medical clearance
You need a full medical clearance and the operation in my hands requires an overnight stay in the hospital. Yes, your statistical risks are very slightly higher but with good precautions you should obtain that GREAT result.
Safety of A Tummy Tuck with Lupus (SLE)
The success and failure of a Tummy Tuck largely depend on the blood supply and oxygen delivery through the raised Tummy skin and fat flap.
If the blood flow is compromised the skin will struggle to survive - the wound may widen or separate ending in a sub-optimal result.
If the blood supply is poor or insufficient to keep the skin and fat alive, the skin will die resulting in a purple / black portion starting anywhere from the new belly button to the incision which would need to be removed requiring prolonged recovery and complex reconstructive surgery.
For this reason, most Plastic surgeons prefer NOT to operate on patients with impaired vascularity of the tummy skin - this includes Smokers, Diabetics and patients with certain autoimmune diseases such as Lupus. The rate of complications in this group is VERY high. Therefore when approaching such patients we must constantly remind ourselves that we are performing an operating to improve appearance NOT to preserve function or save life BUT whose risks can be significant.
I would not take the chance of performing this operation on you.
Lupus and Tummy Tuck
Safety is a graded term. Obviously any surgery is riskier than no surgery at all. Medical problems will make surgical procedures riskier. Your degree of risk will be dependent on the extent of your disease and the medications you are on for it.
You should consult with a board certified plastic surgeon. They will discuss the risks, complications, benefits, consequences, expectations and alternatives with you.
Ask your medical doctor.
You would need medical clearance prior to any cosmetic surgery -- I see no reason if you are stable and not on any medications, but I would have you see your treating physician and would speak to them regarding medical clearance prior to any form of surgery, cosmetic or other.