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Abdominoplasty risks & complications

Infection
Postoperative complications such as infection can occur. Infection can be treated with drainage and antibiotics, but will prolong your hospital stay and/or your recovery.

Scarring
Poor healing, which can result in visible scars, may require a second operation. Smokers have an increased risk of tissue loss and delayed healing. Stopping nicotine use and stopping smoking several weeks before and several weeks after surgery cleans the body and improves the chance of an uneventful recovery.

Wound Opening
Abdominoplasty (especially a full tummy tuck rather than a mini one) requires quite a large incision horizontally across your abdomen. Since we use our torso to sit up, turn and bend over, it is especially important to follow the restrictions placed on movement because you can run into a complication where the would opens up (sometimes referred to as ‘suture popping’). This complication, like the others, is not common, but is serious and can lead to infection since the wound is opened. Be sure to report any unusual openings along your incision to your surgeon.

Altered Sensation
There are often areas of the abdominal skin that will be numb after surgery. Nerves to the lower parts of the abdominal wall are divided when re-draping the skin. Upper abdominal and nerves on the sides can be stretched during this tissue adjustment and temporarily result in numb regions. Although there is some risk for permanent sensation loss, almost all patients regain most if not all of their feeling.

Blood Clots (Embolisms)
Blood clots can form in the legs during immobilization and break free and travel to the lungs. You can minimize the risk of blood clots by moving around as soon after the surgery as possible and to always follow the instructions given by your plastic surgeon to reduce complications as much as possible.

Seroma or Hematoma
A seroma is a collection of clear or yellowish fluid that may become trapped under your skin in the areas worked on during the tummy tuck. This usually has to be drained by your surgeon.
A hematoma is trapped blood in the area worked on that also needs to be drained by the surgeon.
Both complications are usually avoided by the use of drains in abdominoplasty. You will be instructed to watch for unusual swelling pockets or pain in one specific area.

 




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