American Society of Plastic Surgeons
For Medical Professionals
5 years ago

Health Concern

Hello, I want to have the liposuction and tummy tuck done, but I have rheumatoid arthritis, thyroid, and high blood pressure, and I want to know if my health issues could be a problem.

Procedure: Tummy Tuck
Location: Mt Vernon, NY, NY

Replies 7

Gregory Dowbak
ASPS Surgeon

Maybe. Safety first: 1) blood presure-needs to be controlled. I require cardiology consult including stress test and ECHO 2) Thyroid- thyroid function tests must be normal 3) Rheumatoid Arthritis- your immune surveillance system is active. Needs to be controlled to help prevent wound healing issues and if fat is transferred we need to minimize risk of your body recognizing newly transferred fat as “non-self”

In short if you are cleared by all medical specialists you can have surgery as long as you accept extra risks and have realistic expectations. Post op care would require more vigilant monitoring so I suggest doing in hospital or in surgery center with high quality recovery center for 1-2 days. Skip the tummy tuck. My experience with over 5,000 BBLs shows a 360 Lipo (circumferential lipo of torso to include entire abdomen, flanks, entire back including wings, spare tire , love handles and bra rolls is all you need for a truly fabulous result) plus you can transfer fat to buttocks

Steven Wallach
ASPS Surgeon
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You are wise to ask. I think that if your conditions are well controlled and you get medical clearance you might be a candidate. You would have to be seen in person to be properly evaluated. Best of luck!!

Barry Citron
ASPS Surgeon

That question is best answered by your internist. Well controlled blood pressure, thyroid replacement therapy and mild rheumatoid arthritis do not increase your risk of surgery. On the other hand, advanced hypertension with changes to your heart and kidney function, untreated thyroid disease, or an unstable spine due to arthritic changes would give one pause before considering a cosmetic procedure. It is for this reason that we routinely have our patients obtain a medical evaluation and medical clearance by their internist prior to considering or scheduling cosmetic surgery. Best wishes.

Susan Buenaventura
ASPS Surgeon
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Hello, it's still possible to have the tummy tuck done safely if your internist and plastic surgeon work together. Hypertension should be well controlled with medication. Thyroid should also be well controlled with medication. This will help you through the anesthesia safely. As your RA cannot be cured, it's more a question of what medications you are on (like steroids or chemotherapy) and whether they will need to be stopped temporarily to allow proper wound healing. With proper preparation, you can have your tummy tuck done. I would recommend a hospital setting and an overnight stay. Hope this is helpful!

Adolfo Sesto
ASPS Int. Surgeon

Hi. I would recommend you not to undergo a plastic surgery procedure such as Tummy Tuck and BBL, as an elective surgery is an unnecessary one when you have such a health issue as rheumatoid arthritis. This condition is a multiorganic disease that may compromise another organs and increase your risk during surgery and recovery, and complications may happen at long term.

Nelson Castillo

Thank you for sharing your excellent question. As with any medical condition heading into a surgery it would be wise to have them all medically optimized and clearance for surgery supplied by your treating physicians. Some of your medications will need to be tailored, especially the RA ones to ensure an uncomplicated recovery. Hope this helps.

Edward Domanskis

You would need to get a mecial clearance from you MD but if he agrees, then you could have those procedures done.

Dr. Edward Jonas Domanskis is Certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery

Newport Beach, San Francisco,Miami, EU, Anguilla

Assistant Clinical Professor of SurgeryWOS-Plastic,University of California (Irvine)

Orange County’s Physician of Excellence/America’s Top Physicians/Top Doctors

Plastic Surgery- 2005-2018

President,American Society of Bariatric Plastic Surgeons

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