How can I prevent deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism after a tummy tuck and BBL?

Im planning to Have a surgery (tummy tuck/ bbl) but i a little scared about it

Doctor Answers 15

Preventing DVT

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The best way to avoid a DVT and PE is to have a proper risk assessment and then follow the appropriate guideline steps based on your risk profile. Some risk factors are not controllable such as your age and past medical history. But other factors can be controlled or altered before surgery such as cessation of smoking, avoiding hormone therapy or oral contraceptives, losing weight, etc. There are other factors that can be controlled during the surgery such as the use of compression devices for the legs, minimizing or avoiding medications that elevate your risk such or inhalation agents for general anesthesia, maintaining normal body temperature during surgery, etc. And then there are things that you can do after surgery to lower your risk such as early ambulation and activity, chemoprophylaxis (medications to thin the blood), and clearly understanding the early signs of a DVT. Your surgeon should be able to guide you into the appropriate prevention course based on your risks.

Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 87 reviews

DVT & PE after tummy tuck and BBL

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Hello, thank you for your question. There is no actual way of completely preventing a DVT or a PE. Your plastic surgeon can take all necessary precautions and still it can happen, it's just a matter of statistics. With all that said, there is a big hype about these potentially fatal complications, not because they're common but because they represent, overall, the most common fatal complication in plastic surgery, but the incidence is really low, specially if your surgeon takes all necessary precautions to minimize your odds. The first thing to do is stratify your risks, secondly, take away all risk factors that could predispose you to this complication like  (overweight, oral contraceptives, hormone replacement therapy, and long surgeries) finally, the use of low molecular weight heparins (lovenox®, clexane®) will help lower the risk even more. In sum, with the right guidance from your plastic surgeon, the risks are very low, but there will always be a risk even if it's small. I hope to have been helpful, good luck with your surgery

Jose Leon, MD
Dominican Republic Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 82 reviews

Prevention of DVT

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The best way to prevent DVT would be early and often walking after surgery. Additionally your surgeon may prescribe compression hose for you to wear doing your recovery. Some surgeons will give a blood thinners to be injected to help prevention as well. Rely on recommendations of your surgeon. Good luck.

Girl Stephenson, Jr, M.D., DDS, FA CS

Pulmonary embolus

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The prevention of DVT is both intraoperative, and postoperative. Ask your surgeon what he does to prevent or decrease the risk in the operating room.

for each patient what they can do is to get out of bed, even when it hurts and ambulate or walk postop. This simple procedure, walking is a lifesaver. 

How can I prevent deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism after a tummy tuck and BBL?

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The most important thing you can do is do not smoke and get up and move around frequently. In 32 years, the only DVT I have had in a patient was a lady who's friends told her to stay in bed and not get up and move (like we told her!?!) Your surgeon may or may not want you on anticoagulants, but in  my practice we very rarely use them.

Ronald V. DeMars, MD
Portland Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Complications following surgery

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The best way to minimize the possibility of all types following surgery are to slect a surgeon carefully and to follow the instructions of your plastic surgeon explicitly. Your post-operative appointments will be scheduled prior to surgery. be at each and every appointmnent and report and questions or concerns to your doctors office immediately

Michael Law, MD
Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 123 reviews


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Hello Bl_0912!

My patients love the dramatic improvements we achieve for them when doing both of these procedures concurrently. Please make sure you choose a surgeon that is Board Certified by The American Society of Plastic Surgeons and also a surgeon that is experienced with doing these procedures together.  This will make your surgery, your results, and your recovery time most optimized as well as lessen your risk for DVT (deep vein thrombosis) greatly.

Your question was how can you prevent a DVT and PE after your surgery however prevention starts before you even have your procedure.  We give our patients a risk assessment for DVT before their surgery then follow up with appropriate therapies. These may include cessation of smoking and/or hormonal therapies or achieving your healthy weight.  Next we take the utmost precautions and guards against DVT's during your surgery including the use of a device for intermittent compression of your legs to ensure good blood flow.  We even have a service where you are able to take home these "leg squeezers" on lease so that you may enjoy further protection from DVT's during your post-operative recovery time.  In addition we encourage early ambulation (walking around every few hours for a few minutes) after your surgery as well as use of low molecular weight heparin therapies.  We have had great success with our diligence in the prevention of DVT's and we wish you the same!

Best Regards,

Lane Smith, MD, FAACS
Las Vegas, NV

Lane Smith, MD
Las Vegas Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 98 reviews

DVT and Pulmonary Embolism

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Dear Bl_0912, there is a risk of developing Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism after a TT and BBL. Your doctor should take into consideration multiple factor to determine how high your risk is. Age, smoking history, oral contraceptives, weight, how long your procedure would be, how long your flight is, are many of the factors. It think is a smart idea to prevent it anyway and I personally do it by using graduated compression stockings or intermittent pneumatic compression, early moving of the patient post-op and in some cases the use of a low molecular weight heparin after the procedure.

Kelvin Eusebio, MD
Dominican Republic Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 41 reviews

DVT risk

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There are prescribed risk assessment surveys that your Dr should use to determine your risk. Once your risk is assessed he should discuss what can be done to reduce the risks. This may mean some type of blood thinner. I have used this system for several years including the use of blood thinners and have had neither DVT or pulmonary embolus nor bleeding problems so it does appear to be a reliable system.

John P. Stratis, MD
Harrisburg Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 37 reviews

DVT Risk post tummy tuck

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DVT and /or pulmonary embolus is a definite risk after the tummy tuck procedure. There are well defined risk factors for developing a DVT. These include, but are not limited to obesity, smoking, hormonal therapy, inactivity, blood clotting issues, and prior history of DVT. Your surgeon should obtain a careful history from you regarding your individual risk, and take appropriate precautions to minimize the chance of developing a DVT or pulmonary embolus pre-operatively, intra-operatively and post-operatively. Some high-risk patients require additional precautions, but most patients require the use of of compression stockings during the surgery, and early ambulation post-op to minimize the the risk. Cessation of smoking cannot be over stressed. Good luck!

Wilfred Brown, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon

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.