Persistent cough. Can I still have a tummy tuck?

I am 52. My weight is 119, my height is 4'10. I had 2 C-Sections. I have seen the plastic surgeon. He said that I am a good candidate for tummy tuck. I forgot to mention to him that I have a persistent cough due to GERD and rhinitis. My primary physician stated that my cough will not be an issue. However, my concern is that this cough will be very annoying after the tummy tuck and it will hurt and maI've can open my wound?? Thanks in advance!!

Doctor Answers 8

Cough affecting tummy tuck.

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Cough suppressants can certainly be used to control that cough, and, if you get skin and belly button only, the cough should not be a big problem.

Fort Myers Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Tummy tuck with chronic cough

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I would not advise you to have a tummy tuck if you have a chronic cough.  Each time you cough, you increase the pressure on the abdominal wall.  This will be painful and can affect the healing of the internal sutures and compromise the results. 

David S. Chang, MD
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews


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Your cough will probably not impact the anesthesia but it may impact your recovery.  Every time you cough forcefully it may hurt while you are healing.  It also puts at risk breaking the suture used for the abdominal plication.  It may open the wound if you cough very forcefully.  Improving your cough as much as possible will maximize your chance of a good recovery.

Tyler C. Street, MD
Napa Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

Chronic cough

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I would try to get your cough under control as much as possible. it will hurt you afterwards and perhaps affect the final result

Jonathan Saunders, MD
Newark Plastic Surgeon

Cough and tummy tuck

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Thank you for your question.

If at all possible suppressing the cough would be ideal before surgery as well as afterward.  A cough after tummy tuck would be uncomfortable and could put more stress on the internal muscle plication sutures than desired.  The pain medications typically given for post operative pain do usually suppress cough and if you have significant post nasal drip and GERD you will need to be aggressive with your post op pulmonary care and might benefit from an incentive spirometer, typically given in hospitals more than elective surgery.


Dr. L

Andre Levesque, MD
Austin Plastic Surgeon

Tummy Tuck/Abdominoplasty/Liposuction/Vaser High Definition Procedures/Tummy Tuck Revision

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I appreciate your question. I would recommend that you discuss this question with your surgeon as every surgeon.  Your surgeon is your best resource as he/she is most familiar with your medical history and how you will be healing following surgery. The best way to assess and give true advice would be an in-person exam. Please see a board-certified plastic surgeon that specializes in aesthetic and restorative plastic surgery. Best of luck! Dr. Schwartz Board Certified Plastic Surgeon Director-Beverly Hills Breast and Body Institute #RealSelf100Surgeon

Persistent cough. Can I still have a tummy tuck?

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I am sorry to hear about the problem you are experiencing. Best to discuss this concern with your plastic surgeon. You are correct in that the presence of a cough may  cause more discomfort than necessary after tummy tuck;  although a solid muscle plication should not be disrupted by a cough, there is no need to expose the repair to more stress/risk than necessary.
Ideally, it would be best to have the  cause of the cough well treated/controlled,  so that it is not an issue/concern around the time of tummy tuck surgery. Best wishes for an outcome that you will be very pleased with.

Coughing after TT

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Hello,  thank you for sharing your doubts.   A persistent cough after having TT may be a concern for the muscle repair.  You should discuss this issue with your PS before having surgery so you can take medication to reduce the cough episodes.  Have a great day. 

Derby Sang Caputo, MD
Dominican Republic Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 99 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.