Tummy Tuck Death Rate

i know this sounds morbid, but i really fear death from getting a tummy tuck. what is the actual risk in terms of this?

Doctor Answers 10

Tummy tuck complications

This is a morbid question but the odds are always good to know.  I've read from 0.04% to 20 per 100,000 and other incidences.  It is important to know that the deaths are predominantly from clots after surgery that start in the legs and can propagate to other parts.  This is typically due to immobility and lack of proper prevention.  Discuss these topics with your board certified plastic surgeon as he has likely spent a considerable amount of time thinking over this topic for you at his/her many continuing medical education meetings.  There have been many recent updates on this topic.  Best wishes,


Dallas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 76 reviews

Have a question? Ask a doctor

Tummy tuck death rate

The risk of death from abdominoplasty is very likely lower than the chances of dying in your car.

Some patients are at higher risk of blood clots and pulmonary embolism, the usual causes of death after this procedure.

An experienced and careful plastic surgeon will look at your medical history and take appropriate precautions. These include the use of air-driven leg compressors during and after the operation, and possibly blood thinners.

Eric Pugash, MD
Vancouver Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 74 reviews

Tummy tuck is very safe.

There is a tiny risk to everything, including crossing the street. If you want a number, I would say 1 in 10,000. But this number includes everybody.

If you just look at good surgical candidates, safe surgical planning, and proper blood clot prevention, then the risk is much less.

George J. Beraka, MD (retired)
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

The risk is very low for healthy patients

The risk of major complications and death is extremely low for the healthy patients. The combination of the full pre-op evaluation , performing the surgery in a accredited surgery center and limiting the surgery time  has helped to reduce the risk.

Kamran Khoobehi, MD
New Orleans Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 70 reviews

Tummy Tuck Death Rate.

There is risk with any surgical procedure.  As cosmetic body contouring procedures are all elective procedures, our goal is to minimize risk as much as possible and as noted it is quite low.  Appropriate medical screening with history and physical, use of special stockings to prevent venous thromboembolic events,limiting length of multiple procedures may all help.  Doing the surgery in an appropriate setting, either hospital or certified surgicenter with a board-certified plastic surgeon experienced in body contouring surgery cannot be overemphasized as well.

Stephen Delia, MD
Boston Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

VTE events after TT surgery are uncommon

Probably the most feared fatal complication related to TT surgery is a venous thromboembolism event resulting in a massive pulmonary embolism. We take maximal precautions to prevent this complication. The use of intra-operative sequential compression boots, using them post-operatively at home, and the use of preventative blood thinners (Lovenox) after surgery have helped to reduce the rate of this complication. Shortening the surgery time for combination cases to less than 6 hours has also helped.

Tummy tuck death rate.

I have heard numbers ranging from 1 out of 4000 at the highest to 1 out of 40,000 at the lower end of the scale and these deal primarily with deep venous thrombosis when tummy tuck is combined with liposuction

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 56 reviews

Tummy tuck death rate

The death rate from a cosmetic surgical procedure is extremely low, however it can happen like with any surgery.  Precautions are taken with every surgery to insure the safety of our patients.  Taking an appropriate medical history and properly screening patients lowers the risk.

Steven Wallach, MD
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Tummy tuck

The risks are extremely low. The people with the highest risk factors are ones who smoke, prior history of blood clots, combination with other major procedures, history of cancer, and taking higher estrogen containing birth control pills.

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