Can A Tummy Tuck Be Done In A Kidney Transplant Patient?

Q: Dr. Eppley, I had a kidney transplant six years ago. My transplant team believes I could have a procedure to diminish the abdominal-flanks area. The side where the kidney is is larger. I weight 195 lbs and am 5’11”. I dislike being lopsided and have exercised (I am in pretty good shape). I was interesting in you because of your experience with a few transplant patients. There are great surgeons where I live but I trust you more.

A: I can see in your picture the protrusion/lop sidedness of the left side. That is the same side as your kidney transplant as can be seen by the location of the oblique abdominal scar. However, the bulge that is sticking out I doubt is where the kidney is. Generally that would be under the incision away from the bulge sitting on top of the abdominal fascia. Thus I do think that the protrusion could be reduced by a combination of liposuction and skin excision. (tummy tuck) The skin excision could extend across the whole abdominal incision as there may be skin excess there as well.

You would be on some level of immunosuppressive medication currently and we compensate for that by giving ‘stress steroid’ dosing at the time of surgery. Any other considerations/needs based on your transplant doctors input is also important.

I would estimate that you would need to be here no more than three to five days based on whether the placement of a surgical drain is needed. (which I would work towards not using.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana