Can I Have A Tummy Tuck If I Have Had A Kidney Transplant?

Q: Dr. Eppley, I have had two kidney transplants and now my stomach looks like a smiley face im very embarrassed lost 85 lbs in 6 months working off my body fat and eating healthier. No matter what I do it never can get smaller. I’ve recently gone through a divorce and with all my weight loss, i would really like to be happy with my body overall and not feel embarrassed to be naked in the bedroom. I’m writing because I would like to know what my options are for me.

A: Just because you have had kidney transplants does not preclude you a tummy tuck surgery. It is important to know, however, as to what type of immunosuppression drugs you are on (if any), where exactly is the kidney located in the abdomen and have you had any healing problems in the past. You would also need to get clearance from your nephrologist/transplant doctor for surgery. Having done tummy tucks in the past on kidney transplant patients, the one difference is that you rarely do any rectus muscle plication or abdominal wall liposuction. It is a primarily an excess skin removal procedure (skin-only tummy tuck)  in which the excisional pattern must be carefully designed give the ‘smiley face’ scar you already have and the risk of skin necrosis.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana