Tummy Tuck Safety Concerns

I'm 32/m and considering a TT for loose abdominal skin. I'm at my ideal weight now and have been for years. Have high blood that's treated by medication and acid reflux. A board-certified plastic surgeon has recommended a TT w/ flank lipo. I'm worried about: (1) Combining these 2 procedures -- seeing a lot of the web that this is risky; (2) if blood pressure/reflux make general anesthesia more risky.; and (3) overall TT death rate -- seeing stats of 1/600 or 1/2000 -- much higher than I expected

Doctor Answers 11

Risks with a tummy tuck are minimal.

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Although present with any surgery, the risks associated with a tummy tuck and liposuction procedure are minimal. Despite your medical conditions of high blood pressure and acid reflux, you are most likely a good candidate for surgery as you have maintained you ideal weight and you are relatively young. It is important that you discuss you concerns and medical history with your chosen surgeon who needs all relative information to keep you as safe as possible.

We have just completed a study of our last 500 tummy tucks and have not experienced any serious complications.

For my tummy tuck patients, I monitor his or her healing very closely to help avoid complications. It is important that you follow both your pre and post-operative instructions closely and that you vocalize any concerns to your surgeon right away.


Tummy Tuck and Flank Liposuction Safety for a young male.

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Combining a tummy tuck with flank liposuction in a male at ideal body weight poses minimal risk for complications. We commonly pair these procedures in our practice to obtain a better contour for our patients.

Treated hypertension with normal blood pressures and controlled acid reflux disease add minimal risk to your surgery.

Death rates that you quoted may be quite misleading and should be risk adjusted.  I strongly suspect that older, and or, significantly overweight patients with active systemic diseases (diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, lung disease) or risky social habits (like a lifetime of smoking) are included in the global statistics you have found on the internet.

A cautious ,conservative, and experienced plastic surgeon should carefully select patients for surgery.  Truly high risk patients probably should not have elective abdominoplasty and liposuction.

Best Regards,


Douglas J. Raskin, MD
Colorado Springs Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 69 reviews

Male Tummy Tuck and Liposuction Risks

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The main risks in elective surgery are; bleeding, infection, and anesthesia complication.  With elective surgery one can usually get the patient in the best shape possible for the operation.  Being at your goal weight for this operation helps.  Controlled hypertenstion and controlled GERD are usually OK to perform surgery.  Doing flank lipo with a tummy tuck is also usually very safe, and often will give a better overall result.  Make sure you tell your Board Certified Plastic Surgeon your concerns. 

Jeffrey J. Roth, MD, FACS
Las Vegas Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

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Tummy tuck extremely safe.

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1)  You are lowest possible risk (young and thin).

2)  Controlled high blood pressure or acid reflux do not add to risk.

3)  Liposuction of the flanks is done routinely with tummy tuck is entirely safe.  But I never do liposuction of the thighs together with tummy tuck (increased risk).

4)  I don't know where you saw those statistics, but they are wrong.  Death rates are much, much lower.   Of course there is a tiny risk to any procedure.

5)  Some parts of video outdated, but I hope you find it useful.

George J. Beraka, MD (retired)
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon

Tummy tuck with flank liposuction

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Your surgeon's recommendation is a very good one.

To answer your concerns:

  1. If your blood pressure is normal on medicines, surgery is safe.
  2. Surgery with reflux is safe if anesthesia is done properly- the tube in your throat prevents fluid from your stomach getting into your lungs.
  3. Tummy tuck statistics are misleading. They include people much older and less fit than you, those having more surgery and those with more medical problems.
  4. Tummy tuck liposuction is for contouring, not major fat removal. Liposuction risks rise with the amount of fat removed. You will have probably no more than 600 cc.
  5. Your risk with two operations is probably higher than doing these two together. 

Sounds as though you are in good hands. Best wishes.

Tummy tuck and flank liposuction

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In general, tummy tucks with flank liposuction are pretty safe. It is important to have a consultation and make sure that you are healthy and a good candidate.  Good luck.

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

It is safe to combine a tummy tuck and liposuction

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The notion that tummy tucks and liposuction should not be combined is outdated.  I perform liposuction with all my tummy tucks unless the patient has no fat that can be suctioned.  The benefit of liposuction even in a relatively thin patient is to sculpt the body after the excess skin has been removed and the residual skin is re-draped over the abdomen.

The risks are very small and nowhere here the number you quoted.



Martin Jugenburg, MD, FRCSC

Martin Jugenburg, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 521 reviews

All survey has risks

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The death rate you quote,is,way too high. It is probably more,like 1/100,000. That is more related to the anesthesia. Liposuction is very commonly done with the tummy tuck because it saves a second surgery , and is easily done.

William B. Rosenblatt, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Tummy Tuck Safety

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It is rare that I don't combine flank liposuction with tummy tuck surgery as the combination gives you the best waist improvement. If your hypertension is well controlled and your surgery is being performed in an accredited facility you should do fine. Where did you find your death "statistics"? The risk is far lower than what you have quoted. Good luck!

Marcel Daniels, MD
Long Beach Plastic Surgeon

Tummy Tuck Safety Concerns

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You are correct that a tummy tuck is a larger/higher risk cosmetic surgery, however adding a moderate amount of flank liposuction should not significantly increase the risk of the procedure.  Check with your primary physician and let them know you are considering the procedure and have him/her re-evaluate your blood pressure/reflux/and overall health.  It would also be wise to be evaluated by the anesthesiologist prior to the day of the surgery and let them know your health issues.  Best of luck.

Vincent D. Lepore, MD
San Jose Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 63 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.