I Have Lymphedema in my Right Leg, Can I Have a Tummy Tuck?

I had a radical hyserectomy with lymphnode dissection in 2006. I have lymphedema in my right leg now. The surgery left me with loose skin that hangs with a midline scar that makes me look like I have sagging breast on my lower abdomin. Would it be possible to have a tummy tuck, skin only?

Doctor Answers 2

Lymphedema in my Right Leg, Can I Have a Tummy Tuck?

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The lymphedema was caused by the lymph node dissection in the pelvis. Most lymphatics that might be interrupted by a tummy tuck drain into superficial inguinal nodes, which then drain into deep inguinal nodes, which in turn drain into the pelivc nodes which are blocked. There can by some communication,  especially on the right side which ameliorates and bypasses the blockage and this pathway could theoretically be disturbed and make the lymphedema you have worse. 

Saying that, the risks are more for you than they would be for most others. But if this can be treated with a limited procedure without needing much in the way of new incisions or much or the tissue rearrangement that is usually done with  TT, then I think the procedure can be done safely and with satisfactory improvement. 

When you ready for an in person consultation, RealSelf has listings of surgeons in your area. You should consider cross referencing the listings from the The American Society of Plastic Surgeons (plasticsurgery dot org). A listing in the ASPS website assures you that your surgeon is not only board certified,  but also is a member in good standing of the major plastic surgery organization in the U. S.
Thank your for your question, best wishes.

Seattle Plastic Surgeon

Tummy tuck for loose skin

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Lymphedema of the lower extremity puts you at higher risk for possible complications after surgery. These risks can be reduced by using compression boots and compression stockings during and after surgery. By having a mini-tuck to just remove the excess skin and not  having a full tummy tuck you will also do much better after surgery. Discuss the above with your PS during your consultation.

Shahriar Mabourakh, MD, FACS
Sacramento Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 228 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.