How Often Do People Die During Tummy Tuck Procedures?

My two biggest concerns about this whole procedure is 1 how often do people die from this procedure 2) how do I make the best of this operation? Meaning I do not want to get a tummy tuck and at the end of all the healing and swelling it still seems like I did not have a tummy tuck. I guess what I want to know as well is how many inches around my waist/midsection will I lose? This tummy tuck would also benefit me because I am in the Army and I get my measurements taken every 6 months in my wasit.

Doctor Answers 15

Death and Tummy tuck Surgery

Yes the risks of dying after tummy tuck surgery are very very low but they can happen. Longer operations increase these risks as due patient health problems and bad habits like smoking. Your plastic surgeon should candidly discuss these risks as well as the expected outcome of your tummy tuck surgery.  without a thorough exam it is difficult to answer your other questions or to make predictions of weight loss or decrease in inches.

Indianapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Risk of death

Risk of death with a tummy tuck is exceedingly rare.  It usually is secondary to a blood clot in the lungs.  There are preventive measures that may be taken to decrease these risks such as compression stockings, early ambulation and blood thinners.  Seek a board certified plastic surgeon to ensure the best result with the least risk.  Donald R. Nunn MD  Atlanta Plastic Surgeon.

Donald Nunn, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 47 reviews

Tummy tuck surgical risk.

The risk of dying from a tummy tuck operation when performed by a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon in an accredited surgical facility is exceptionally small. All surgery carries risks, with patient co-morbidities being a large part of these risks. DVT and pulmonary embolism are of particular concern. As for results, this cannot be determined from 3 photos on an internet website. You need to see a plastic surgeon for a consultation. If you are planning on losing any weight, do this several months before your surgery! This way your results will be more predictable and longer lasting. It is rare for a patient to have a tummy tuck and afterwards feel as though no surgery was performed.

David Bogue, MD
Boca Raton Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 25 reviews

Death after tummy tuck

Death is an exceedingly rare complication after tummy tuck. The most commonly feared reason for death after abdominoplasty is pulmonary embolism after deep venous thrombosis (DVT). In layman's terms, a blood clot originating from the lungs can break off and go to the lungs. The best way to treat this complication is through prevention. Early walking after surgery is important and, if your doctor identifies you as high risk, you may need blood thinners during the initial postoperative period to minimize your risk.

It's hard to know how mahy inches you will lose from around your waist. The best possible results from surgery come from patient's who are close to their ideal body weight.

Best of luck - Sam Jejurikar, MD


Sam Jejurikar, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 92 reviews

Risks and tummy tucks

The risk from dying from a tummy tuck is very low when performed by a well trained plastic surgeon in an accredited surgical facility with proper anesthesia; otherwise, the risks can be significantly elevated. There are many considerations that play a role in risk and those can be discussed by a board certified plastic surgeon.

Whether or not you are a good candidate for a tummy tuck can't be fully ascertained by your photos. A physical examination will be needed to determine what would be the prudent course of action.

Steven Turkeltaub, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

How often to people die with a tummy tuck

Very fortunately, it is quite rare to have people die with any cosmetic surgery.  Of course, it can and does happen but proper patient selection and attention to detail by both the surgeon and the anesthesiologist will make this extremely unlikely.  Be sure to discuss with your chosen surgeon these concerns and always be completely honest about any health issues and any medications you  take.  As for the result, it is not really predictable what your measurements will be after surgery.  Based on your photos, you should be able to get a good result but it would be even better if you were able to lose some weight prior to the surgery.  good luck to you!

Jeffrey E. Kyllo, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Death After Tummy Tuck

Death from a tummy tuck is an exceedingly rare complication if you are young and in  good health. The best way to minimize the risk of complications is to see a board certified plastic surgeon and have surgery in a certified surgery center with a board certified anesthesiologist putting you to sleep. Make sure you ask you surgeon about all the risks, especially blood clots in the legs (DVT) which can be a potenitially fatal complication. As for the outcome, it is impossible to predict, but ask to see pictures of patients before and after surgery so you can gain some idea of your surgeon's results. All in all it is a very worthwhile procedure which is safe to have as long as you do your due diligence.

Good Luck

Johan E. Brahme, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

Tummy tuck complications are rare, but can be serious

Like with any operations, complications can occur during and after tummy tuck surgery. Some complications are life-threatening, but these problems are exceedingly rare. Some of these complications include pulmonary embolism (blood clot to lungs), bowel perforation, infection, and wound healing problems. Seek out of a plastic surgeon certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. 

Scott C. Sattler, MD, FACS
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 65 reviews

Safety of Tummy Tuck

Abdominoplasty or Tummy Tuck is a very safe procedure when performed by qualified and board certified plastic surgeons in accrediated facilities with proper pre- and post-op care.  Prior to your surgery, your surgeon should evaluate your health and order any tests, studies or consultations that are necessary to ensure that you are healthy for surgery.


Good Luck 

David Shafer, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 75 reviews

Death by tummy tuck is a rare event

True, death is a possible risk after a tummy tuck, though fortunately is a very rare one. Often when we hear of such events they are often related to multiple procedures at the same time, or existing health conditions that were not appreciated or respected at the time of the tummy tuck. Choose your surgeon and facility carefully.

Best of luck,


Peter E. Johnson, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 42 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.