American Society of Plastic Surgeons
For Medical Professionals
one year ago

Complications after tummy tuck

I had a tummy tuck in 4/2023. I developed a small blood clot in my lungs. I'm still on blood thinners for this and will be for the next few months. On my 6 week check up my surgeon asked if I was interested in dog ear revision with lipo to the flanks. I said no to the lipo because I'm scared to go under again. But are there any serious complications of dog ear removal if it's a minor procedure?

Procedure: Tummy Tuck
Location: Byron, GA

Replies 6

Karol Gutowski
ASPS Surgeon

In most cases, a "dog ear" correction and liposuction of the flanks can be done awake with a local anesthetic which makes serious complications extremely rare.

Gary Culbertson
ASPS Surgeon
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Thanks You for the Great Question. Yes, you are correct. Get an evaluation BEFORE any surgery or stopping your blood thinners.

Just like folks bleed (i.e. hemophilia) there are people who clot. Since you are on anticoagulation therapy for your PE consider going back to a Hematologist for surgical clearance. See if they want you to come off the blood thinners to do a Hypercoagulability work up (i.e. blood tests).

The last thing you want is another DVT/PE.


Gary R Culbertson, MD, FACS

Rahul Vemula
ASPS Surgeon
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So sorry you experienced this complication. A blood clot in the lungs (PE) is one of the most feared complications for us plastic surgeons.

I agree without on holding off on liposuction at the time being.

As far as the dog ear revision, I would also wait until you are off blood thinners. There is an increased risk of bleeding that cannot be controlled.

Once you are off of blood, thinners, in order to do liposuction, if it’s just the flanges, that can be done under local anesthesia, wide, awake, without having to go under, which may mitigate the risk of having another blood clot. Sonia, if that time comes, you need to properly be risk stratified by your. Primary care physician, as well as a hematologist.

Wishing you the best for your continued recovery

Daniel Allan

Wait until you are off the blood thinners, by which time the "dog ears" will likely be smaller.

Alfred Antonetti
ASPS Surgeon

A pulmonary embolus is the most feared complication from an abdominoplasty. It can happen. The revision of a small dog ear and or a touch up liposuction is a very simple thing and most of the time can be done under local anesthesia. I would normally wait about 3 or 4 months do do this but it all depends. If you had an ABPS surgeon, follow his or her advice.


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