What is the risk of death on surgery table having a tummy tuck in a diabetic?

Doctor Answers 7

Tummy Tuck Risks

Thank you for your question. Fortunately, significant complications from abdominoplasty are infrequent. Every year, many thousands of people undergo successful aesthetic surgery of the abdomen, experience no major problems and are pleased with the results. Anyone considering surgery, however, should be aware of both the benefits and risks. Best of luck!

Dhaval M. Patel 

Double Board Certified 

Plastic Surgeon 

Hoffman Estates 




Hoffman Estates Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 93 reviews

Risks of tummy tuck

To determine if you are a good and safe candidate for a tummy tuck requires an in-person consultation.  Your board certified plastic surgeon will review your past medical history to determine medically if you are a good candidate for elective surgery.  As per diabetes, it is very important that your sugars (diabetes) are well controlled.  One way to gauge this is with a Hemaglobin A1c.  It may be a good idea to visit with your primary care physician also to get cleared for surgery.   Please visit with a board certified plastic surgeon to learn more about your options.  

Best wishes,

Dr. Basu
Houston, TX

C. Bob Basu, MD, FACS
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 211 reviews

Risk of death from tummy tuck

All surgery has some inherent risks. However, the most important decision is to see a surgeon who is certified by the Americsn Board of Plastic Surgery. Your surgeon should operate in a certified surgical center approved by AAAASF or AAHC. Your anesthesia should be performed by a board certified anesthesiologist. Your plastic surgeon may also need to obtain a medical clearance from your primary care physician if you have any underlying medical problems. If all these are done then that risk is minimized.

Richard Chaffoo, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 23 reviews

Risk of death during surgery

Risk of death is vey low but present any time you have surgery. Most cases involve heart and/or lung disease that results in exacerbation secondary to stress of surgery and anesthesia. Another risk of death relates to getting a clot that travels to your lungs although this risk is minimized by maneuvers taken by surgical staff. If your diabetes is controlled this should not be a concern to dying during surgery.

Arian Mowlavi, MD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 68 reviews

Major complications of surgery

Thanks for your inquiry.  There are risks to surgery, many of them are rare. but exist.  Major complications in surgery mostly occur because of your own health risks.  The better your health is maintained, the less likely you will have a major problem.  Make sure your diabetes is well controlled before surgery, good luck.  

Vishnu Rumalla, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 201 reviews

What is the risk of death on surgery table having a tummy tuck in a diabetic?

Just because you are a diabetic does not mean you will die on the table while undergoing elective plastic surgery. Every patient is different and having medical problems such as diabetes does increase your risk of complications. I have all of my patients with any medical co-morbidities see their PCP or related physician (cardiologist, endocrinologist, rheumatologist, hematologist etc.) and obtain medical clearance for elective surgery. If they say it is safe or low risk for the patient, then we proceed. If they say the risk is moderate to high then we do no proceed with surgery.

Erika Sato, MD, FACS
Houston Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 95 reviews

Surgical Risk

Thank you for your question.  Patients with complicated medical histories and patients with diabetes are usually seen by their primary care physician for medical clearance prior to surgery.  Assuming their diabetes is under good control and their risk factors are properly managed and they are felt to be good surgical candidates, the risk of death on the table is very, very, very, very, very  low.  This is a commonly performed surgery, and the best deterrent against complications is finding a board certified plastic surgeon who can properly evaluate you and make sure you are a good surgical candidate.  All the best,

Keshav Magge, MD
Bethesda Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 46 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.