Tummy Tuck Despite Kidney Problems and Previous Heart Surgery?

I had an aortic valve replacement 5 years ago. I also have kidney problems due to SLE (Systemic lupus erythematosus). I have terrible stretch marks due to past fluid retention and a combination of Predisilone medication. Would it be possible for me to have a Tummy Tuck? I am really desperate to remove these disgusting marks.

Doctor Answers 4

Tummy Tuck Despite Kidney Problems and Previous Heart Surgery

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In many cases, plastic surgery can be done with some health conditions. It just depends on the medical condition at the time. In addition to a required one-on-one consultation with a board certified Plastic Surgeon, patients always need to be seen by their primary care doctor prior to such procedures. Also, every patient is screened for risks of blood clots (DVT) and then take appropriate measures. By acquiring clearance from your primary, any specialists you may see and your board certified plastic surgeon, you will further confirm if a #tummy tuck is a good choice for you.

If deemed a candidate, a #drainless tummy tuck with or without #liposuction may be something to consider. Over the years, surgeons have improved procedures and found ways to eliminate the need for #drains commonly used in a #tummy #tuck or #abdominoplasty, and a variety of other operations. I have found that most of my patients do very well with the exception of those have large areas of #liposuction or lipo-abdominoplasty. Any extra fluid may be reabsorbed back into the body without the use of drains.  I may use drains on a case by case basis for these patients. If you go to a plastic #surgeon who uses drains, or if your situation requires drains, they usually stay in 3-5 days but may be required to remain in longer. The use of tissue #glue is to adhere the abdominal #skin to the #muscle. It is a new option and alternative to sutures in a tummy tuck. 

It is important you select a plastic surgeon who is #board-certified and has a great deal of experience with #vaser #liposuction. Aside from checking board-certification, it is suggested that you look at before and after photos of the surgeons actual patients, and read patient reviews. Gathering all of this information will help you make a well-informed decision. Always discuss your issues and concerns with the Plastic Surgeon during and following your consultation. Information that you read online may not apply to your personal situation.


Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 116 reviews

Tummy Tuck with Lupus, Kidney and Heart Disease

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Dear Eyan,

It sounds like you have been through a LOT.

In my opion, you will be taking a huge risk if you were to undergo an abdominoplasty.

SLE or lupus patients do notoriously poorly with such operations. An abdominoplasty generates a long wound and large raw surfaces that need to heal properly. The Lupus process, depending on your form and how active it is at the moment impedes wound healing. Being on a "combination of Predisilone medication" will further greatly suppress proper wound healing and may invite infection. Finally, depending on your aortic valve surgery, if you are on a blood thinner, that would have to be stopped for the surgery and a few days after, leaving your valve open to clotting and serious heart complications.

In a situation such as yours, I would urge you not to risk your life having this operation.

Truly sorry.

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon

It depends.

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Aortic valve replacement and kidney disease do not automatically prevent you from having a tummy tuck. You need to discuss this thoroughly with your medical doctors. The problem with an artificial valve is anticoagulation. There will be a risk if you go off this for your abdominoplasty. With your kidney, it depends upon how well it is actually functioning. You certainly will be at a higher risk. Discuss this with your medical doctors and take their advice.

William H. Huffaker, MD
Saint Louis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 51 reviews

Tummy Tuck and Medical Problems?

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Thank you for the question.

Yes, tummy tuck procedures can be done safely for patients with a variety of different “medical conditions”. Careful evaluation and treatment of the medical condition is necessary prior to determining the appropriate candidates for the tummy tuck procedure.  In your case this would be best done by a cardiologist  and rheumatologist.  These physicians know your situation best and would be best suited  to discuss your suitability for the procedure and the potentially increased risks/ complications that you should consider.

Also, please make sure you are seeking consultation with  well experienced board-certified  plastic surgeons who preferably work with board-certified anesthesiologists.

I hope this helps.

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.