What are the risk of a Tummy Tuck procedure for a patient with diabetes? Can someone with the illness still undergo surgery?

Doctor Answers 11

Diabetes and tummy tuck

The two surgical related complications of tummy tuck in a patient with diabetes are wound healing problems and infections. Other metabolic complications are also possible but they' can occur  any time and with any surgeries. A well controlled diabetes and strict adherence to diet and medications are necessary for an uneventful recovery. Absolute contraindications to surgery in a diabetic patient is obesity.


Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon

The Diabetic Patient and Aesthetic Surgery

A person with diabetes can have a tummy tuck as long as there blood sugar is tightly controlled and that communication with your physician managing your diabetes is on ongoing before and after surgery.  If you have a history of poorly controlled diabetes then you would not be a good candidate.

Dr. ES

Sure they can but…...

Diabetics are more prone to wound dehiscence, skin slough and infections apart from the concomitant morbidities they might suffer (kidneys, heart problem etc). Thus special attention and preparation should be given such as blood sugar control, antibiotics and special techniques in order to minimize the risks and have an uncomplicated recovery. 

Ioannis Michael Ch. Salivaras, MD
UAE Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

Surgery for diabetics

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

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.
4. ABSOLUTELY NO SMOKING!
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

Pablo Prichard, MD
Phoenix Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 42 reviews

What are the risk of a Tummy Tuck procedure for a patient with diabetes? Can someone with the illness still undergo surgery?

The diabetes must be well controlled, and end organ damage must be minimal.

Find a plastic surgeon with elite credentials who performs hundreds of tummy tuck procedures each year. Then look at the plastic surgeon's website before and after photo galleries to get a sense of who can deliver the results.

Kenneth Hughes, MD
Los Angeles, CA

Tummy tuck for a diabetic

My first recommendation to any patient with a serious medical condition who is contemplating elective surgery is to discuss it with their treating physician, in your case, an endocrinologist.  Diabetes has various degrees and you have not indicated whether you are insulin dependent.  Risk of wound infection and breakdown are increased and diabetics have more morbidity in general.  The determination will be based on your condition and whether you are stable and properly managed. Best wishes.

Diabetic and TT surgery

Absolutely! A controlled diabetic can undergo the procedure as long as you have medical clearance and have reasonable blood glucose control. Your medical doctor in combination with your surgeon and anesthesiologist are best to make the final decision. Post operatively, you may find that you require less insulin, assuming you are an insulin dependent diabetic.

As long as you have medical clearance, you should not have many additional risks with surgery. Your surgeon may want to be on the conservative side. As a diabetic, your wound healing may be slightly longer.

Don't worry and let you doctors guide you.

Best wishes

George C. Peck, Jr, MD
West Orange Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 21 reviews

Diabetes and plastic surgery

You need to be under good control and cleared by your physician for surgery. Diabetics are always at greater risks for surgical complications and problems. So you need to be in the best of health and shape. If you are overweight, don't even think about surgery.  -

William B. Rosenblatt, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

Cosmetic surgery can be safe in patients with diabetes

Thank you for your question.  Assessing surgical risk for patients undergoing cosmetic surgery requires significant surgical experience and training.  Diabetes does increase the chance of a complication but still may not exclude you from undergoing a tummy truck.  A surgeon must look at the "whole patient" when deciding whether or not to proceed with surgery.  I would recommend going in for a consultation with a board-certified plastic surgeon where a thorough history and physical can be performed.  That's the best way to determine your overall risk.  Good luck!

Elan B. Singer, MD
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 24 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.