American Society of Plastic Surgeons
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Tummy Tuck


BettyMarie Kinston, NC
5 months ago

Is there a risk of removing too much fat in a tummy tuck to cause a fluid and electrolyte imbalance?

Mohamed Abdelhafeez Ali, MRCS Buraidah, QS - Saudi Arabia
5 months ago

Not regarding liposuction from abdominal wall only but liposuction in general from whole body should not exceed maximum 8 L and if you ask about removal of huge part from excess abdominal wall during tummy tuck

Sometimes if so big we need to replace the patient with one to two units of blood

But it does not affect fluied and electrolyte balance because during surgery the patient was balanced already

Anup Dhir, MD New Delhi - India
5 months ago

The upper limit for safe liposuction is 5 litres with or without tummy tuck.The fluid & electrolyte balance is maintained during & after the surgery & there is no need for scare.Liposuction is a safe surgery,provided the operator is qualified and the limits of procedure are respected.

The American Society of Plastic Surgeons has studied this question and recommends a safe limit of 5 liters of liposuction during surgery. If you are having a tummy tuck then you are also removing skin and fat surgically, so I would limit liposuction the same day to less than 5 liters. You should be properly monitored by an anesthesiologist who can keep your fluids and electrolytes balanced during the surgery. This surgery should be done in the proper setting , a hospital or accredited office facility. It is an excellent question and good luck to you.

Felipe Gonzalez Parada, MD Leon, Gto. - Mexico
5 months ago

Hello, regarding to the Tummy Tuck procedure when skin and fat are removed there are water and electrolytes in these tissues. So the deficit of water and electrolytes are inherent to a surgical procedure involve in tissue withdraw, that's why we always replace water and electrolytes in these surgical procedures. If the total amount of tissue removed is between 3 and 7 liters, sometimes the replacement includes blood products. To remove more that 7 liters is not recommended, is better to split procedures for safety.

Emrah Aslan, MD Istanbul, C - Turkey
5 months ago

Your plastic surgeon is aware of the volume limit and your electrolyte loss is replaced by fluids during the surgery.

Nelson Castillo, MD Atlanta, GA
5 months ago

Thank you for sharing your excellent question. For the vast majority of patients the skin and fat removed in a tummy tuck will not impact fluid state or electrolyte balance. Hope this helps.

David Reid, IV, MD Hilton Head Island, SC
5 months ago

I agree with Dr. Buenaventura. Safe limit of liposuction as studied is 5000 ml of fat. I might use a lower limit if combined with a tummy tuck. I cannot know what volume you would require without an examination, but I have never experienced a fluid shift problem from tummy tuck.

Sutton Graham, II, MD Greenville, SC
5 months ago

Such a risk with tummy tuck alone would be almost non-existent. Rare reactions to surgery in general and to general anesthesia might alter electrolytes. As others have commented, large volume liposuction would be more likely to alter intravascular fluids. During your consultation, your plastic surgeon will discuss the risks of procedures in general and the specifics of your situation. Best Wishes.


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