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

Q: Dr. Eppley, I am a two time kidney transplant recipient, both from cadaver donors.

Due to both surgeries, my abdomen healed fine, it’s just that it healed in the shape of the letter V so to speak, and I have this big pouch that looks like a giant lip at my lower abdomen, no matter how much exercise I do, it is not going anywhere. I have considered cosmetic surgery for years, but was not aware that I could have it due to my transplants. I did gain weight, but I managed to lose 45 lbs. but I still have problem areas, that I feel I need to have corrected to help my appearance more. I am comfortable with myself, I just want to look as good as I feel.

A: Thank you for your inquiry and glad to hear that you are doing so well. A kidney transplant patient can have an operation like a tummy tuck safely and effectively. This would require that you have clearance from your nephrologist, have good blood counts (e.g., normal white blood cell count as an indicator of immunocompetence) and that the tummy tuck be modified to eliminate muscle plication and simply remove the skin and fat overhang. I would be happy to review any pictures that you may care to send to see if this would be a good option for you. It would also be helpful to know the location of the cadaveric kidney which usually in a subcutaneous abdominal location.

Dr. Barry Eppley