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When should I call my doctor if I have an abdominoplasty?

Stuart A. Linder, MD
Plastic Surgery

After an abdominoplasty, the patient should call the doctor immediately for signs of bleeding, infection, or difficulty breathing. Signs of a hematoma or bleeding are quite obvious with blood draining profusely into the drainage tubes and bulbs. This is a sign of active bleeding that must be controlled immediately. Patients are normally taken back to surgery under general anesthesia, abdomen opened, hematoma evacuated, and hemostasis is obtained as necessary. Patients with fever and temperature greater than 101.5 degrees should be seen for infection. Infection can be superficial along the skin such as cellulitis or deep such as an abscess. Oral or intravenous antibiotics may be necessary. Should you have calf pain, call immediately or go to the nearest emergency room to rule out a deep-venous thrombus. Shortness of breath may be associated with a pulmonary embolus which will require immediate diagnosis and anticoagulation (heparinization).

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.