Background Tuberous sclerosis complex is a genetic disorder affecting every organ system, but disease manifestations vary significantly among affected individuals. The diverse and varied presentations and progression can be life-threatening with significant impact on cost and quality of life. Current surveillance and management practices are highly variable among region and country, reflective of the fact that last consensus recommendations occurred in 1998 and an updated, comprehensive standard is lacking that incorporates the latest scientific evidence and current best clinical practices. Methods The 2012 International Tuberous Sclerosis Complex Consensus Group, comprising 79 specialists from 14 countries, was organized into 12 separate subcommittees, each led by a clinician with advanced expertise in tuberous sclerosis complex and the relevant medical subspecialty. Each subcommittee focused on a specific disease area with important clinical management implications and was charged with formulating key clinical questions to address within its focus area, reviewing relevant literature, evaluating the strength of data, and providing a recommendation accordingly. Results The updated consensus recommendations for clinical surveillance and management in tuberous sclerosis complex are summarized here. The recommendations are relevant to the entire lifespan of the patient, from infancy to adulthood, including both individuals where the diagnosis is newly made as well as individuals where the diagnosis already is established. Conclusions The 2012 International Tuberous Sclerosis Complex Consensus Recommendations provide an evidence-based, standardized approach for optimal clinical care provided for individuals with tuberous sclerosis complex.