Question About Having Crohn's Disease and Wanting a Full Tummy Tuck?

Hi, I have Crohn's Disease but I really want to get a full tummy tuck. My Gastroenterologist recently told me that I have a significant area of my intestines that are scarred. Therefore, in the future I could end up with a blockage and/or need more surgery. I'm not currently taking any medicine that suppresses my immune system (I recently was told to start taking Imuran but I declined) . I'm currently taking Pentasa. What are my chances of being able to have a tummy tuck surgery?

Doctor Answers 10

Tummy Tuck or Abdominoplasty and Crohn's Disease

While there is no contraindication or reason for you not have an abdominoplasty, there some things that you should be aware of. First, if you need surgery after your abdominoplasty, there may be significant problems getting you healed and with reasonable results if it is in the first few weeks after the abdominoplasty. Once the abdominoplasty has healed, secondary surgery for Crohn’s disease is certainly possible but you may end up with some additional and unsightly scars on your abdomen. If your goal is a flat abdomen to look better in clothing, that would be affected by secondary Crohn’s surgery.

You should definitely seek the opinion of your GI physician but there is no reason to forego a tummy tuck if you are a candidate just because you have Crohn’s desease.

I hope that helps.

Best regards.

Kirkland Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 62 reviews

Tummy Tuck and Crohn's disease

This is one of those things that are best consulted on a patient by patient basis depending on how its manifesting on your particular case. Crohn's Disease is a serious matter and it could have some complications down the line if you do Tummy Tuck, that being said its best that you give us more info on your case so that we can make a better assesment, drop me a line and we can talk about it.

Jonathan Fisher, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 1,095 reviews

Tummy Tuck and Crohn's

You can have a tummy tuck if you have abdominal skin and fascia laxity.  However, the real question is if this will somehow interfere with the care of your Crohn's disease down the line.  It is possible that you will need surgery in the future to address any blockage that you may develop.  If you have a tummy tuck, you can still have this surgery.  However, it may be harder for your surgeon.  No one can predict what will happen with your Crohn's disease in the future or if you will need surgery for bowel obstruction.  You should obviously speak with your GI doctor to get a sense for your risks.  Perhaps you could even speak with a general surgeon (the surgeon who would perform the operation if you had a bowel obstruction) and get his opinion on how having an abdominoplasty would affect his ability to operate on your bowels in the future.  You can put together the advice of your GI doctor, the general surgeon and a board-certified plastic surgeon to help you make up your mind.  Good luck!

Dr. Parham Ganchi - NJ Plastic Surgeon

Parham Ganchi, PhD, MD
Wayne Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 154 reviews

Patients with Crohn's disease can have abdominoplasty but with careful supervision.

There are a number of issues to consider in the patient who wants an abdominoplasty and has Crohn's disease. The plastic surgeon gastroenterologist and general surgeon will weigh the risks and rewards and make a recommendation to the patient. In this particular case I think the abdominoplasty will probably be allowed.

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

Tummy tuck in the setting of Crohn's disease

Crohn's disease, in and of itself, is not a contraindication for tummy tuck as long as it is quiescent and well controlled.  The main considerations are the medications that you may have to take to control the disease may have some impact on surgical bleeding or healing, and this should be reviewed in detail with your surgeon and your GI doctor.  Additionally, you should consider, as your gastroenterologist is suggesting, that there is a likelihood that you will need an abdominal operation, perhaps as an emergency, in the future, and this may affect the results of your abdominoplasty later.  If you are OK with all of this and still want to have an improvement in your tummy contour, I think that is reasonable to do.

Joseph L. Grzeskiewicz, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 87 reviews

Tummy Tuck Surgery with Crohn's Disease?

Well-controlled Crohn's disease is not a contraindication to proceeding with tummy tuck surgery.  You are wise in seeking “clearance” through your gastroenterologist. Communication between him and your chosen plastic surgeon will be helpful.

 Best wishes.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,488 reviews

Crohn's disease and an abdominoplasty

You should work with both your plastic surgeon and gastroenterologist to determine if there are any limitations or risk associated with your crohn's disease.  I would be most  concerned if you had a flare up of your crohn's disease in the early post operative period. As long as your medical physician is on board there is no reason not to proceed.  

Jeffrey Zwiren, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

Tummy Tuck & Crohn's Disease

Assuming you are otherwise healthy, there is no medical reason for not being able to have a tummy tuck. If you need intestinal surgery in the future (which most people with Crohn's do not), the tummy tuck will not cause a problem.

Karol A. Gutowski, MD, FACS
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 68 reviews

Tummy Tuck and Crohn's Disease

  • -Having a tummy tuck in the setting of stable Crohn's disease should be okay.
  • -Your gastroenterologist is correct that you may need operations in the future, but having a tummy tuck would not preclude you from having an abdominal operation down the road if necessary.
  • -You mentioned "more surgery," so I gather that perhaps you have already had an operation.  The scar(s) that you may have from prior operations would have to be accounted for by your plastic surgeon, but the scars should not prevent you from having a tummy tuck.
  • -Best of luck to you!

Joshua Cooper, MD, FACS
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 44 reviews

Question About Having Crohn's Disease and Wanting a Full Tummy Tuck?

Although your surgeon and anesthesiologist will want to be aware of the Pentasa (as with all medicines there are potential interactions with anesthetic agents), I don't see why if your general health is good you shouldn'tbe a candidate for a tummy tuck. 

This in not an intraabdominal procedure, and should not interfere with any future surgery you may require for complications of your Crohn's disease. 

It is not too early to begin the consultation process. All the best. 

Jourdan Gottlieb, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 45 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.