Tummy Tucks, Nightmares and Complications

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Tummy tucks or abdominoplasty is a popular cosmetic surgery procedure that is done to smoothen and remove those extra curves in the abdominal area. Thousands of tummy tucks are performed safely in the United States alone each year with each procedure producing instant visible results for its patients. However, this procedure is not immune from the risks and complications seen in any surgical procedure. It does have its share of medical risks that potential candidates should consider.


One of the factors that make tummy tucks relatively dangerous could be traced to its use of anesthesia.  Complications include allergic reactions, vomiting and dizziness, aspiration and increased heart rate. But the use of anesthesia in any surgical procedure is standard. Cases of medical complications due to the use of anesthesia are generally few. And this is only caused when it is not administered by an experienced anesthesiologist.

The simplest way to avoid this is by working with a professional anesthesiologist to administer, monitor vital signs during the operation. To minimize complications, local anesthesia can be administered. This is because the effects of medication are limited to the target area. But this is a decision that should be considered with your surgeon’s approval. Discussing this and all the aspects of your tummy tuck could help you make a better informed decision.

Surgical Complications

All surgical procedures have risks and complications associated with it. Tummy tucks are an invasive medical procedure that comes with these complications.

Excessive bleeding – hemorrhage could result when a major blood vessel is cut inadvertently. Wounds could open due to excessive movements. This is why heavy lifting is discouraged and physical activities are advised to a minimum.

  • Infection – surgical incisions are made exposing internal organs to possible infection. This is why great care is done to ensure that all instruments and the operating room are maintained sterile. Infections could also occur after the operation when wounds are not properly cared for.
  • Swelling and bruising – tissue and skin trauma is a direct result of surgery. This is an expected result of the operation. Tenderness and pain are a common complaint but this is managed with pain medications. Swelling subsides after a few days and bruising disappears when wounds totally heal.
  • Deep Vein Thrombosis or Blood Clots - Blood clots could form and travel through the bloodstream. This could end up in the lungs and block the normal flow of blood to the organ resulting to pulmonary embolism a dangerous medical condition. To avoid deep vein thrombosis, patients are advised to wear compression garments immediately after the procedure.
  • Scarring and Tissue Death (Necrosis) - Scarring is an inevitable result of surgical incisions made during abdominoplasty. Tissue death is caused by improperly cared wounds making wound care essential after the procedure.

Just like liposuction, fats removed from tummy tucks are removed with a drainage tube. This is immediately discontinued after all the fat is removed. The procedure is painless during the operation but pain is a general complain after. But this could easily be managed with pain medication.

Surgical procedures are inherently dangerous and pose serious threats and complications. Tummy tucks are no exception. The success or failure of a surgical procedure ultimately depends on the competence of your surgeon. This is why choosing your surgeon is always a top priority when opting for a tummy tuck procedure.

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