Is There a Lower Risk of Blood Clotting when Doin a Tummy Tuck Without Muscle Repair? (photo)

Due to the fact that I have a history of blood clot and MTHFR I do want to take the risk of a full tummy tuck. I read somewhere that a TT w/out muscle repair lowers that risk significantly. Is that correct? As for my results: I know my stomach will not be completely flat but I am hoping to get rid of the loose skin and fat pockets around my belly button.

Doctor Answers 7

Is There a Lower Risk of Blood Clotting when Doin a Tummy Tuck Without Muscle Repair?

If there is a lower risk, it is doubtful that it is significantly lower. I am not familiar with any such difference. 

Your risk is rather high given the procedure and your personal history. There are a variety or screening tools, one of which is the "Caprini score" which you can use yourself (Google it). You will find that you are in a high risk for DVT category, and that the proper treatment is sequential compression device, and an injectable anticoagulant, usually Lovenox. 

Based on the photos, I think much of the improvement will come from the muscle tightening, so I would consider that as you weigh the pros and cons. All the best. 

Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 45 reviews

Is There a Lower Risk of Blood Clotting when Doin a Tummy Tuck Without Muscle Repair?

In general, the risk of developing blood clots in the veins of the lower extremity that can travel to the lungs and get lodged in the form of pulmonary embolus (PE), does rise with the length of surgery and being that muscle repair adds to the length of the tummy tuck procedure, theoretically there is a higher risk of this complication with muscle repair.  However, overall the risk of such blood clots is extremely low under the precautions that are currently available, and as far as I know there is no study that has demonstrated any difference.  Furthermore, tummy tuck is a loosely accepted term that does not appear in medical terminology and it can refer to any form of abdominal reduction, be it a panniculectomy or abdominoplasty in its many different variations.  If you think you are at a higher risk category for this complication, it is best to consult a hematologist in case precautions other than the usual DVT precautions are necessary.

Ruben B. Abrams, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

Is There a Lower Risk of Blood Clotting when Doin a Tummy Tuck Without Muscle Repair?

Yes the statistical risk is slightly lower but there is still a risk. Having pre, intra, post operative DVT regimes is imperative. Please have your PS calculate the "carping risk" scale for you. If above 8 points you need DVP prophylaxis. 

Darryl J. Blinski, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 173 reviews

Confusion regarding TT nomenclature

First, by definition, a tummy tuck must include muscle tightening, otherwise, it just isn't a tummy tuck.  If it just involves removing the skin and fat, it is called a panniculectomy.

This distinction is not just semantic.  As you noted, the results are dramatically different, but the recovery from the latter is much less, and yes, the chances for DVT are less, as are the risks of PE.

I don't know what MTHFR is.  I do know that DVT prophylaxis is quite good, and even in difficult cases (with the assistance of a hematologist consultant) a tummy tuck can be safely done with very low risk of DVT or bleeding.

A panniculectomy is best used in patients (generally speaking) who have a skin fat apron that hangs down.  Looking at your pictures and without benefit of exam, this doesn't appear to be the case.  In fact, you don't appear to have a thick fat pad.  To me, it appears that a significant amount of your deformity is due to muscle weakness, and unless I am wrong, must be fixed to get a good result.


Scott E. Kasden, MD, FACS
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 101 reviews

Concerns about Clotting and Tummy Tuck Surgery?

Thank you for the question and pictures.  Be careful about what you read and it's validity;  I am not aware of any good study that shows a “lower risk of blood clotting”  when tummy tuck surgery is done with or without muscle plication.

 Given your concerns, best to undergo a full evaluation by a hematologist prior to proceeding with any type of elective surgery. Then, I would suggest that you make a decision whether to proceed with surgery or not;  if you decide to proceed, have the operation done that will achieve the best results possible, after selecting the most qualified and consistent plastic surgeon you can find.

 I hope this helps.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,487 reviews

Blood Clot Risk and Abdominoplasty


It has not been quantified how much lower risk you would have from a tummy tuck without muscle repair, however your results would be sub-optimal for sure.  I think that looking at it from a risk/benefit analysis, the risk is still exorbitantly higher than the benefit gained.  You would definitely need an anticoagulant during the peri-operative period, and the surgery should be kept to as short as possible.  

From my prospective, I do not see the need to put anyone at this kind of risk and would not perform the surgery.  It just doesn't make sense, and urge you to reconsider.


Gerald Minniti, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 89 reviews

Is There a Lower Risk of Blood Clotting when Doin a Tummy Tuck Without Muscle Repair?

Many thanks for the question. I am not sure where you read such a thing. There is no such thing. Muscle repair or not the risk factor for clotting remains the same . Muscle repair is needed when they are week and the cause of protuberance of upper or lower abdomen .It has nothing to do with Clotting. Your PS can alone tell if you have week rectai. Wish you good luck

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