FInd out the Risks Associated with Tummy Tuck Surgery (Abdominoplasty)

Risks Associated with Tummy Tucks

Although serious problems are uncommon, there are risks involved with any operation and tummy tuck is no exception. One of the more common problems is an accumulation of fluid under the skin after the drains have been removed. This is not usually a serious situation and your plastic surgeon can generally remove the fluid with a needle right in his/her office. More serious risks include blood clots forming in the large veins of the legs (called DVT or deep vein thrombosis) which can lead to clots traveling to the lungs (called PE or pulmonary embolism). Walking around as soon as possible and flexing your feet toward and away from your head while in bed may reduce the risk of DVT and PE. In patients at a higher risk for these complications, such as those with a prior history of DVT or PE, the doctor may prescribe mild blood thinners on a precautionary basis.

Other possible risks include bleeding, poor wound healing or loss of skin, infection, separation of the wound, and noticeable scarring. Fat necrosis may occur if fatty tissue under the skin dies due to insufficient blood supply. This can lead to small lumps being felt under the skin or occasionally to an oily drainage from the incision. Such problems usually resolve on their own over time. Nerve damage and persistent swelling in the legs may also occur, along with risks associated with anesthesia including cardiac (heart) and pulmonary (lung) problems.

It is important to carefully follow your doctor’s instructions both before and after surgery for an optimal recovery and to reduce the risk of complications. Choosing a qualified and reputable doctor who has been properly trained in plastic surgery is the first step toward decreasing the risk of complications and ensuring that they can be properly handled if they do occur. Our surgeon finder can help you find a plastic surgeon in your area that has been certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery.


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