Tummy Tuck is a relatively safe surgical procedure when performed by a certified and experienced Plastic Surgeon. But you may be wondering if the same applies if you or someone close to you who is a diabetic is opting to go under the knife for a Tummy Tuck. In this blog, you will get to learn which conditions favor or discredit a diabetic patient from undergoing an abdominoplasty- aka ‘The Tummy Tuck’.
What is a Tummy Tuck?
Abdominoplasty or a Tummy Tuck is a surgical technique which is now commonly performed on patients with lax abdominal wall and excess lose skin and fat, in order to slice off the extra mass to give the body a leaner figure.
What is Diabetes?
For those who may or may not be familiar with the specific details of diabetes. There are two types of Diabetes. Type 1 Diabetes and Type 2 Diabetes. In type 1 Diabetes, the disorder arises due to a deficiency of insulin production. This may manifest itself at an early age. Type 2 Diabetes occurs due to a decreased response of Insulin on the insulin receptors, disrupting the overall sugar metabolism. Either ways, the patient suffers a high blood glucose levels than normal. This may result in multiple manifestations as neuropathy or tingling feeling, blindness, renal issues, cardiac problems and most important in regards to this article’s premise: impaired wound healing.
Impaired Wound Healing as a result of Diabetes
Diabetes primarily affects the blood flow, specifically the circulation through the arterioles (small vessels). Many times, plastic surgeons are called in reconstruction cases which is a sub specialty in plastic surgery to deal with slow healing wounds or non-healing wounds of patients who suffer from diabetes. Moreover, diabetics may seek aesthetic surgery to enhance their appearances. Such cases are challenging for a plastic surgeon.
It is common knowledge that surgeries are bound to take place with incisions and ultimately scarring no matter how small or non-visible. Scar formation is a part of wound healing and is the body’s response to the trauma. Even though, over the years plastic surgeons may have developed a reputation for performing ‘scar-less’ surgeries, this is merely due to their ability to conceal the scars under the natural folds in the skin. The art of plastic surgery is this ability to perform such procedures with remarkable results such that the observes can-not identify if any procedure has been performed at all. Other ideal spots to hide the scars are the skin creases and beneath the underwear. Hence, plastic surgeons are always vigilant to where they place the incisions. Despite the attention to detail and safety, sometimes complications do arise in otherwise healthy patients, which is why extraordinary measures must be taken when operating a patient more susceptible to delayed wound healing as in case of a diabetes.
In a Tummy Tuck procedure, there is interruption to the blood in the arterioles supplying the skin as the skin is raised to pull it into a firmer, tighter manner. After the completion of the procedure the overlying skin is heavily reliant on these small blood vessels to provide adequate blood for nutrition and oxygen to carry out the healing process. If these vessels do not supply ample amount of blood, this can hinder the wound healing process.
Other risk factors to consider in a Tummy Tuck:
Some other things to consider in a Tummy Tuck are the risks associated with anesthesia, the risks of surgery and the Post-op complication risks. These complications can be handled by a qualified Plastic Surgeon with years of experience such as Dr. Arif Hussain. This is why you must never settle for less than the best plastic surgeon.
Can a Diabetic Patient undergo a Tummy Tuck?
If a patient suffers from Diabetes and wants to go undergo a tummy tuck procedure it is vital that they have their blood sugars under strict control. So, what is the measure of ‘good blood sugar’ and is it good enough to undergo surgery? A simple blood sugar test may show if the patient has a safe range of blood sugars (<120). However, a good plastic surgeon will always ask for your Glycosylated Hemoglobin level, also commonly known as HBA1c test. As opposed to blood sugars which vary as the day progresses and according to your meal time, HBA1c shows the general trend of your blood sugars for the past 2 to 3 months. This can give a better idea of the trends in management of blood sugar by the tummy tuck candidate. The ideal percentage of HBA1c is lower than 7%. If it is greater than 7%, this shows that blood sugars have been high through the past 2-3 months. In such case, the patient would first be advised to manage their blood sugars by modifying their insulin intake.
Moreover, as with any other surgery, a Tummy Tuck may interfere with the body’s insulin mechanism, which is why it is imperative for a plastic surgeon to work with a patient’s diabitologist since prior to surgery the patient’s medicines may have to be modified.
I have controlled diabetes; will this surgery benefit me?
Dr. Arif Hussain has performed numerous plastic surgery procedures on diabetic patients with seldom complication and very satisfied patient base. The mastery to his surgeries lies in his techniques which he has developed after more than a decade and half of experience. Diabetic patients are also prone to being obese. In addition to providing a sculpted physique, many of Dr. Hussain’s patients have benefited in other ways through his Tummy Tuck procedures such as reduced back, neck and shoulder pain since these areas are no longer strained by the burden of the excess tissue hanging around. This corrects the posture of many patients too.
Moreover, in certain cases of ventral hernias where a weak abdominal wall may cause gut protrusion outside, a tummy tuck can help to fix this problem. Studies also support Tummy Tuck as means to reduce urinary leakage/ incontinence in patients of SUI (Stress Urinary Incontinence). Therefore, it is safe to say that even if you are a diabetic, you are not eliminated from the candidacy for a Tummy Tuck.
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