Safe for a Type II Diabetic to Have Tummy Tuck and Breast Reduction?

Doctor Answers 14

Diabetes and Tummy Tuck

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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

Breast reduction and tummy tuck is usually safe for patients with type II diabetes

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While it is important to make sure the blood sugar levels are under control and the patient's BMI is appropriate, there is no reason that a type II diabetic can not safely have breast reduction and tummy tuck at the same time. Making sure that your primary care physician or your endocrinologist clears you, you should expect a great result and even possibly a decrease in you weight and diabetes.

Safe for a Type II Diabetic to Have Tummy Tuck and Breast Reduction?

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Well controlled diabetes is not a contraindication to tummy tuck surgery and/or other elective plastic surgical procedures. Always best to check with your primary care physician or endocrinologist for “medical clearance” prior to surgery. Managing your sugar level around the time of surgery (to avoid hypo as well as hyperglycemia), while you will have altered oral intake, will be important.

Generally speaking, the “ideal” patient for tummy tuck surgery is one who has completed pregnancies, is psycho socially/emotionally/financially stable, has an excellent social support system surrounding him/her, is capable of arranging enough recovery time, does not smoke and who has reached a long-term stable weight.

When the time is right, seek consultation with well experienced board certified plastic surgeons who can demonstrate significant experience achieving the types of outcomes you would be pleased with. It will be important to educate yourself about the potential risks/complications associated with surgery and have a good idea of realistic expectations. Keep in mind, that it is a major operation, associated with a significant physical (and often emotional) recovery period. Having enough help/support at home for yourself and any dependents will be important part of the planning process.

I hope this, and the attached link, helps.

Safe for a Type II diabetic to have tummy tuck and breast reduction?

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Hello! Thank you for your question! There are a few medical comorbidities that contribute to a higher risk during any surgical procedure including infections, wound complications, delayed wound healing, bleeding, anesthetic risks, etc. Diabetes is one that is known to have an increased risk for infections and wound healing issues. There are a number of both systemic and local host factors that can contribute to infections. Whether or not diabetics are truly at greater risk and the magnitude of the effect of diabetes on the risk of infection remain controversial. However, there is a known increased propensity to develop infections and delayed healing. Some of the hyperglycemia-related impairments on the immune response include vascular insufficiency, sensory peripheral neuropathy, autonomic neuropathy, and skin and mucosal colonization with pathogens such as Staphylococcus aureus and Candida species.

That being said, well-controlled diabetes should equate a minimal increased risk for the above and surgical procedures still safe and a reasonable decision. You should ensure adequate glucose control always, but also obtain medical clearance from your primary care physician that you are at an acceptable risk for undergoing a surgical procedure. Laboratory results such as HgbA1C is a good measure of control. Discuss all of your medical comorbidities and medication with your surgeon prior and discuss these risks. Measures will be taken to check levels as well as maintain proper glucose control with appropriate fluids and medications. This procedure should still be very safe for you and hope for an uncomplicated course with an excellent result! Hope that this helps! Best wishes!

Type 2 diabetes and cosmetic surgery

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Hi there-

Provided that your physician/endocrinologist does not object to the surgery and agrees your perioperative risk is acceptable, the surgery itself should be possible and safe.

The concern with diabetes is for healing problems and infection, as diabetic patients have limitations in these areas. You would need to accept the possibility that despite your surgeon's best efforts, you develop a wound or infection that takes time (some times a long time) to heal, and which might leave you with a less favorable scar.

Make sure your diabetes is very well under control.

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Although these surgeries are NOT prohibited for patients with diabetes, diabetes can make the wound healing process much more difficult if it is not well controlled first. Diabetic patients should be first be on a strict diet and exercise regimen before such a surgery. This will only make the final result that much better. 

Patients with diabetes need a FULL medical clearance before the surgery. For my diabetic patients, I work closely with their medical doctor to make sure that they recover from the surgery without difficulty.

Tummy tuck and breast reduction in a diabetic

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You would have to have your diabetes well controlled and of course obtaine proper medical clearance from your doctor., The best thing would be to have this done in a hospital setting.

Risk of Diabetes in Tummy Tuck and Breast Reduction Surgery

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We need to remember that Cosmetic Surgery is "I Want Surgery" NOT "I Need Surgery". This means that risk factors need to be minimized as much as possible before having these operations. It goes without saying that Diabetes must be well controlled and that the Internist/Endocrinologist needs to be consulted before and be available should he be needed after wards.However, even if all these steps are taken, while surgery on the whole is relatively safe in diabetics when compared to non-diabetics, their risks for infection and healing complications would be slightly higher.

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon

Tummy tuck is safe despite diabetes

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Tummy tuck can be a safe procedure for those with type II diabetes with sound preparation beforehand. You should discuss your plans with your family physician, and your surgeon too should work with your family physician to develop a treatment plan and medical clearance so your procedure goes smoothly. Weight loss, and reduction of body fat through a tummy tuck procedure may if fact reduce medication or insulin requirements in some diabetics by reducing the bodies demand for available insulin. You should be aware that healing and infection risks can be increased with diabetes, though with good management diabetics do well with this procedure.

Best of luck,


Type II Diabetes and Tummy Tuck and Breast Reduction

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These operations are major surgeries that involve a significant amount of surgical time and post operative healing. Because of this, your diabetes needs to be under excellent control and you need to have any related medical problems optimally treated. If these conditions are met, then, yes, it is safe for a type II diabetic to have these procedures.

Since obesity frequently accompanies Type II Diabetes and both these procedures are best done on someone with an ideal weight, one other condition you should meet before having either of these procedures is a weight as near ideal as possible (unless you already there – you did not say).

Robert T. Buchanan, MD
Highlands 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.