Abdominoplasty Or Tummy Tuck

What are the risks involved with a tummy tuck?

A Answers (3)

  • AStuart Linder, MD, Plastic/reconstructive Surgery, answered

    The risks involved with tummy tucking include both early as well as later complications. Most common early complications from an abdominoplasty or tummy tuck are bleeding followed by infection. Other risks may include skin death, fat death (necrosis) or deep venous thrombosis, clotting in the legs leading to a pulmonary embolus. Pulmonary emboli can be fatal if not diagnosed and treated immediately. Seromas can also occur with collection of serous fluid underneath the abdominal wall flap as well as dehiscence of the incisions with wound infections requiring dressing changes or secondary wound closures. Later risks usually are associated with scarring both around the belly button or umbilicus as well as around the lower C-section line extending hip to hip. These scars can include hypertrophic scarring, keloids, hyperpigmentation, hypopigmentation and wide spread scarring.

  • AArthur Perry, MD, Plastic/reconstructive Surgery, answered
    The tummy tuck is a high satisfaction procedure. But there are a lot of complications.  Hematomas (bleeding) occur in as many as 5%, blood clots in the legs (DVTs) in as high as 2%, seromas (collection of clear, blister fluid) in as high as 15%. That's why I strongly argue that the procedure should be done in hospital with an overnight stay. Drains stay in for three days. And it's not a good idea to combine this procedure with other procedures other than liposuction of the flanks.

    Tummy tucks are a high-satisfaction procedure, but you've got to be well motivated to undergo it.
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  • AErik Hoy, MD, Plastic/reconstructive Surgery, answered
    The tummy tuck procedure is safe and effective, and carries a low risk of complications overall. However, it is the riskiest of the commonly performed procedures in plastic surgery. It is very important that your surgeon and perioperative staff ensure your safety by requiring that you wear compressive stockings on your legs throughout the procedure, in the recovery room, and overnight following surgery. It is also important that you are up and walking around the next day, with a slight stoop in your walk. You will need to be bent at the waist to avoid stretching your abdominal incision. These measures help decrease the risk of the formation of blood clots in the legs and those that can travel to the lungs. Other risks include the collection of blood or fluid under the abdominal flap, infection, problems with wound healing or scarring, etc.
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