Kidney Transplant and Tummy Tuck

I received a kidney transplant in 2008. I am scheduled to have gastric bypass next week and want to know if I can have a tummy tuck to get rid of the excess fat after I have reached my desired weight?

Doctor Answers 11

Tummy Tuck after Kidney Transplant?

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Thank you for the question.

I think that having had a kidney transplant in the past is not an  absolute contraindication to tummy tuck surgery. However you should carefully weigh the pros and cons of the procedure (as well as the potential risks and complications that are increased in your situation) and consult with your medical doctor's prior to proceeding with the surgery.

Ultimately, I think it will be your decision whether the increased  risk  associated with your medical history and your current medications is worth the potential benefits of the tummy tuck surgery. 

I hope this helps.

Elective Plastic Surgery After Kidney Transplantation?

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No you should not have any elective surgery. Do that which is necessary and enjoy your health.  After organ transplantation, elective surgery becomes a threatening and unnecessary risk.  I advise no elective surgery ever.  If you find someone willing to do it, get another consultation and avoid elective surgery.  Your risks are unacceptable.  Enjoy your health.  My best.

Tummy tuck in organ transplant patient

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Patients who have had organ transplantation are at far higher risk than normal patients. Patients must find a physician willing to do interface with the transplant surgeon, the transplant medical team and perform the many extra steps necessary to maximize safety. Patients must accept the surgeon's advice as to which procedures can be carried out with reasonable safety. Patients not willing to accept the greater, and perhaps catastrophic risk should not have elective procedures. Obviously doctors performing such procedures should have familiarity with the safety issues and have admitting privileges to institutions performing organ transplantation should complications arise.

Brent Moelleken, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 194 reviews

Immunosuppression is the concern

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I would be concerned regarding your immunosuppressive medications associated with your kidney transplant.  These medications are necessary for your transplant.  But these medications can increase your risk for infection, seroma, and delayed healing.   Please talk with your transplant specialist (nephrologist) and a board certified plastic surgeons to learn more about the options and weigh your risks and benefits carefully.  Best of luck

Kidney transplant is not a contraindication to tummy tuck

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I have previoulsy had a patient who had kidney transplant prior to her tummy tuck. there is no problem with having a tummy tuck as long as your gernal doctor is aware of it and can optiomize your medications for your surgery.

Sean Younai, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 51 reviews

Tummy Tuck and Kidney Transplant

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Dear NicMic,

Yikes.  The last thing anyone wants is complications and I would think that a tummy tuck, in which there is always the risk of certain complications, could - at least in theory - jeopardize your kidney transplant.  The bypass makes sense from a lot of standpoints, but let's say that you lose weight and then decide to have a tummy tuck.  You might need a circumferential procedure, depending on the scope of your weight loss.  And, whether or not you did, what would happen if you developed an infection at the TT site or underneath, and the subsequent bacteria affected your kidney?

The bottom line is that while i would not necessarily refuse categorically to do a TT in a patient who's had a kidney transplant, you would need to have a full and complete discussion concerning the proposed procedure with both your plastic surgeon and your transplant surgeon.  If, after that, the likely benefits for you outweigh any potential problems, then it would be  more likely to be considered a reasonably procedure.  If, on the other hand, the potential risks outweighed the benefits, it would be less likely to be considered a good idea.

I hope that this helps, and good luck,

Dr. E

Tummy Tuck After Kidney Transplant

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A previous renal transplant would very definitely increase the risks of a tummy tuck.  Even patients who are post-gastric bypass without transplant have increased risks especially of thromboembolic events.  The anti-rejection drugs which you must take also increase risks involving both infection and would healing.  This is something which you should initially discuss with your nephrologist.

John Whitt, MD (retired)
Louisville Plastic Surgeon

Tummy Tucks Can Be Safely Performed In Kidney Transplant Patients

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I have had the opportunity to perform tummy tucks on two patients that had prior kidney transplants. The procedure can be safely done and there are two issues that need to be managed carefully. The first is your immunosuppressive medications immediately before, during and after surgery. That requires input and advice form your transplant team. This is obviously going to be done for your gastric bypass which is a more invasive surgery. Secondly, how the tummy tuck is done is very important. It is very likely that the transplanted kidney is placed in the subcutaneous space in the lower abdominal area. Therefore, any tummy tuck done should be skin only and as limited as possible with full awareness as to the location of the kidney. Bearing these two issues in mind, you should be able to safely having a modified tummy tuck performed in the future after your gastric bypass.

Kidney Transplant and Tummy Tuck

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Interesting dilemma. When you are "near" your desired weight I recommend seeing your nephologist to discuss if you would be cleared kidney wise to have a TT. From MIAMI 

Tummy tuck post-transplant and gastric bypass

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You are definitely at increased risk of complications relative to a person that is not on immunosuppressive medications, but as long as your nephrologist and transplant surgeon give you medical clearance for the surgery, I think that you should be a reasonable candidate.  The excess skin that some individuals develop after massive weight loss can certainly affect their quality of life, so the risks and benefits your unique circumstance will need to be evaluated.  Best of luck!

David S. Rosenberg, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 11 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.