Type 1 Diabetes - Mommy Make Over - Surgeons Refuse Surgery?

I posted a few days ago about being a type 1 diabetic and wanting a tummy tuck/Mommy Makeover. However when I was contacting surgeons for more information I was told by one they will not operate on diabetics. I am a type 1 diabetic A1c is 6.7, but I'm working for tighter control. I'm obese, but I'm working out daily to lose weight. I'm also on a low carb diet too. Is this common to refuse diabetics because this is cosmetic vs surgery such as a cholecystectomy (had Aug 12 and 0 complications)?

Doctor Answers 7

Diabetes and Tummy Tuck

Thank you for your post. Diabetes is a disease that should demand a healthy respect from both surgeon and patient in plastic surgery. It is a disease that affects the immune system and can increase the risk of infection, a disease that affects the healing potential of a wound and can cause opening of a wound, and is a disease of the circulation that can lower the blood flow to the operated tissue and cause necrosis or tissue death. This needs to be managed as follows:

1. Tight blood glucose control with diet, exercise, and medication. You need to see your internal medicine doctor regularly and make sure your diabetes is well controlled.
2. If you are overweight, then losing weight decreases your risk in tummy tuck surgery or any other surgery for that matter.
3. If you have high blood pressure, this needs to be managed and well controlled by your internal medicine doctor as well.
5. Consider with your surgeon HyperBaric Oxygen therapy pre- and post-op.
6. Make sure you understand from your surgeon and anesthisiologist what medications you should take or not take prior to surgery.

It is very possible to have a great outcome as a diabetic following tummy tuck surgery, but minimizing the risk is the most rational way of accomplishing this.

Best Wishes,
Pablo Prichard, MD

Phoenix Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 47 reviews

Type 1 Diabetes - Mommy Make Over - Surgeons Refuse Surgery?

Thank you for your question. We operate on diabetics all the time, but we network with their physician managing their diabetes, and coordinate with them what we can do, and what is deemed to be safe.  Thus far, we have had many diabetics recover without any incidents. I hope this helps.

Vivek Bansal, MD
Danville Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Diabetes puts patients at increased risk for complications during mommy makeover.

Well-controlled diabetics can undergo elective cosmetic surgery including mommy makeover. They are at greater risk for complications and should be under good diabetic control some surgeons may feel uncomfortable under any circumstances with these patients which is understandable.

Vincent N. Zubowicz, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 35 reviews

Mommy Makeover Surgery; Diabetes and Obesity?

In my practice, well-controlled diabetes would not be a  contraindication to tummy tuck surgery. However, obesity would be. I would suggest that you continue to do what you are doing with your diet and exercise program and reach a long-term stable weight/glucose control. Then seek additional consultations with board-certified plastic surgeons.

 Best wishes.

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


There is a big difference between elective cosmetic surgery and medically necessesary surgery. Serious complications, including death can occur with any surgery, when we do cosmetic surgerey a patient should be a good candidate. If you have a medical problem, you need to be medically cleared, your BMI should be normal and your diabetes WELL under control. Each plastic surgeon has the freedom to pick and choose their patients.

William B. Rosenblatt, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

MM for a diabetic

Most Diabetics can have plastic surgery safely. To minimize risks, you, your diabetic doctor along with your plastic surgeon need to make sure that your diabetes is under good control before and after the procedure. Although some complications may be increased, such as infection, the odds are generally in your favor that you will do OK

Larry S. Nichter, MD, MS, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 154 reviews

Criteria for mommy makeover tummy tuck

Every surgeon will have their own policy regarding patient selection for elective cosmetic surgery, because the risk/benefit ratio has to be clearly on the benefit side. Factors that increase the risk of serious complications include BMI greater than 30, and diabetes. A tummy tuck has different risks than a cholecystectomy.

Richard Baxter, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 52 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.