Is It Possible to Have Tummy Tuck for a Patient with DVT?

I would like to have a tummy tuck after having two children. But, after the second birth I had a DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis) in my left pelvic area which has meant the affected vein no longer has blood flow through it. This happened just over 19 months ago. Would surgery be a no-no with this medical history?

Doctor Answers 5

Prior history of blood clot (DVT) when undergoing tummy tuck (abdominoplasty)

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Having a previous DVT places you at significantly higher risk for another DVT with or without surgery. Prior to planning any subsequent surgery you should consult with a hematologist. There are certain genetic conditions that predispose you to a DVT such as Factor V Leiden that may need to be tested for prior to surgery. In addition depending on the extent of surgery certain prophylactic measures ranging from alteration in anesthetic technique, compression hose, serial compression devices, and anticoagulation may be warranted. The last of these may place you at higher risk for bleeding with subsequent need for transfusion.

Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 86 reviews

DVT and tummy tuck

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With a history of a previous DVT I would proceed with caution.  You should have a full work-up by a hematologist and see what he/she recommends in terms of proceeding with the surgery and if so what type of prophylaxis they would recommend.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Proceed with caution and under supervision of your medical doctor

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You may be able to proceed with tummy tuck, although with an increased overall risk. The medical doctor managing your anticoagulation should be consulted and the circumstances reviewed. It may be considered OK to proceed while you are on a form of anticoagulation. This does increase your risk of bleeding from surgery.

Reza Nabavian, MD
Santa Monica Plastic Surgeon

DVT risk with surgery

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Deep venous thrombosis is at risk with any surgical procedure. Having a history of her previous DVT certainly does increase your risk for this to happen again. It does not, however, preclude your ability to have surgery. One must always weigh the relative risks versus the benefits of procedure and proceed only if the benefits outweigh the risks.

Veins that are clotted due to a deep venous thrombosis will normally open up again after a period of time. I suspect you were treated with anticoagulation such as Coumadin for a period of time after your diagnosis. This helps to prevent progression of the clot and allows for its gradual resorption. Just because you had this problem once before does not mean it will happen again.

Precautions can be taken during her surgery. These precautions can reduce your risk to an acceptable level. Measures that can reduce your risk for deep venous thrombosis include use of compressive pumps on your legs during the surgery and a low dose anticoagulant that is given after your surgery. This medication, called Lovenox, is injected underneath the skin daily for five to seven days after your surgery. This will significantly reduce your risk for another DVT. I would suggest you discuss your concerns with your surgeon.

Mitchel Krieger, MD
Fairfax Plastic Surgeon

Tummy tucks are not advised for patients with previous DVT's

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Although tummy tucks are a popular and effective way to contour the abdomen, they are an elective aesthetic procedure and should only be performed on healthy patients who have minimal risks for complications. If you have had a prior history of a DVT, it is not recommended for you to receive a tummy tuck. Whenever a patient considers plastic surgery, your health must always be your first concern. Please stay safe.

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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.