Can A Diabetic Have A Tummy Tuck?

Q: Dr. Eppley, I had my only child two years ago and since then have lost 50 pounds. Although I am working to lose weight, I am only seeing my tummy continue to sag. As a type 1 diabetic, the saggy skin on my tummy has now gotten to the point I can’t attach my insulin pump. Would a tummy tuck be good for me and will it interfere with my need for insulin through a pump?

A: With a 50 lb weight loss, and the resultant skin overhang that would develop from this amount of abdominal deflation, it is easy to see how a tummy tuck would be beneficial. A tummy tuck will completely get rid of all the tissue looseness/overhang in the abdominal area. While you are at some increased risk due to your type 1 diabetes for some potential postoperative complications (e.g., infection, wound healing issues), a tummy tuck would be immensely helpful and could potentially reduce your insulin requirements. I have performed numerous tummy tucks and other body contouring procedures on diabetics and have not seen these types of complications develop in any significant manner. While you will have to change the location of your insulin pump during the healing phase of the tummy tuck (six weeks), you will be able to use your abdomen again after that recovery period.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana