Even though tummy tuck, when performed by a qualified and experienced surgeon, offers very good results, there are certain risks and complications that the procedure can possibly bring. It is important for you to know that there is no such surgical intervention that would be totally safe and without any risk or possible complications. Although complications associated with abdominoplasty are relatively rare but possible, and patients should be aware of them prior planning to have tummy tuck done.
Tummy tuck risks and comlications
Statistical medical data shows that less than five percent of patients experience complications after abdominoplasty.
Some risks and complications are said to be associated with the surgical procedure itself, whereas others are associated with the recovery period and healing process. Some risks and complications of tummy tuck depend upon individual characteristics of a patient. Patients who are fit and healthy before surgery recover quicker and have fewer complications. Those who have diabetes or high blood pressure are expected to have higher risk for complication after surgery. Therefore such patients should consider all the pros and cons of this cosmetic procedure prior tummy tuck. They should also discuss carefully with their surgeon all the medical history and medications that they take in order to reduce the possibility of complications.
Some risks and complications can be reduced by certain actions that can be taken by a patient himself. For example, smokers are known to have higher risks for complications than non-smokers. Hence, if you smoke you should quit doing it at least four weeks before surgery and not resume smoking at least three weeks after tummy tuck. You are also recommended to avoid sun overexposure, especially in the belly area, and extreme loss of weight prior to the surgery, as these factors influence the healing process. You must bear in mind that risks of tummy tuck are low and complications are very rare, however, as with all surgical procedures they still occur. Certain complications related to surgery include bad reaction to anesthesia, since most tummy tuck procedures are performed under general anesthesia. The risk of blood clots in the legs or lungs is also possible; therefore it is important for you to start moving around as soon as possible after surgery. More serious complications, such as respiratory or heart disorders and even death, are almost exceptional but still possible.
As mentioned above, some complications are related to the poor healing process. Unfortunately, these complications are more frequent. Most patients experience pain, swelling, soreness and overall tiredness for about six weeks after surgery and this is considered a normal recovery process. However, in some cases these symptoms may last longer and cause a serious discomfort to the patient. Most of these signs can be managed with certain medications. More serious complications during the healing period include infection, which usually is successfully treated but may cause the recovery period to be longer. Excessive bleeding is also one of the most common complications. While others, such as thick scar formation and skin loss, are rarer but can result in the need for the second surgery. Often fluid collects under the skin after the drains have been removed and the surgeon may need to aspirate the fluid with a needle.
The most important thing for you to learn is that risk for complications can be reduced with your help. You must try to follow all your doctor’s instructions given for the healing process. Be eager to cooperate with your surgeon and do not hesitate to consult your doctor in case any problems occur during the post-operative period. Since in some cases the risk of complications is due to expectations that a patient has about the results of tummy tuck, it is essential to have realistic expectations and discuss them thoroughly with your doctor prior surgery. Complications, associated with tummy tuck, are rare and uncommon. They are very seldom when tummy tuck is performed by a skillful and experienced doctor. Still, even a high-skilled doctor cannot change certain aspects that depend upon the patient self. Therefore a good and close cooperation between a surgeon and a patient is vital in order to lower the risk for complications related to abdominoplasty.