How safe is a tummy tuck?
Tummy Tuck - Is It Safe? What Are the Risks and Side Effects?
Doctor Answers 33
Promoted Local Answer
Is a tummy tuck safe?
While tummy tuck is an extraordinarily popular procedure it is not without risk. As a board certified plastic surgeon I cannot take away all the risk associated with any of the procedures that I perform but we certainly do our best to choose a appropriate candidates and minimize the risks.
The most concerning risks in the abdominoplasty surgery are blood clots that can break off and go to the lung. By tightening the abdominal wall pressure is placed on the veins that bring blood back from the legs and in some instances this can lead to blood clots.
All plastic surgeons do or should take special precautions against this significant risk. In my own practice we use compression stockings, special balloons that pulse the lower legs, and even a low dose of a blood thinner.
There are other risks associated with any surgery that are too numerous discuss here. The key is that your plastic surgeon should give you a thorough risk and benefit analysis.
In choosing the appropriate candidates we do our best to minimize these risk. I often tell my patients that nothing is as safe as no surgery, but you could look at the same statistic with driving. In fact I'm certain that driving is statistically more dangerous than tummy tuck.
Considering surgery is a bit like playing the odds. Fortunately, for the average patient the odds are overwhelmingly in their favor has long as there surgeon is competent and is helping the patient to make reasonable choices.
A tummy tuck is an elective, cosmetic procedure that is...
A tummy tuck is an elective, cosmetic procedure that is done under a general anesthetic and it has a well recognized set of risks associated with it.
The term 'safety' is relative to the individual patient's perspective. In general terms, it is a safe procedure.
The risks of the procedure related to the surgical wound include infection, wound healing problems, fluid collecting underneath the wound (seroma). The cumulative risk of these problems is about 10-15% in a non-smoking patient. These wound issues can be managed by your plastic surgeon post-operatively, and usually will not affect the long term result of the tummy tuck in a substantial way.
The risks of the procedure related to the surgery and the general anesthetic include deep venous thrombosis, pulmonary embolism and anesthetic complications. This is by no means a complete list, but the risk of these complications approaches 1/1000 cases.
For more information on abdominoplasty, take a look at my website which has an article on the topic.
Tummy tuck risks
Hello. Tummy tucks (abdominoplasties) are very commonly performed surgeries with a high satisfaction rate. I have performed over 1000 of these procedures and the patients are among my happiest. This surgery corrects the loose skin, stretch marks, lax abdominal muscles and excess tummy fat often seen after pregnancy or weight gain/loss and that do not respond well to diet and exercise.
Like any surgical procedure, there are risks associated with tummy tucks. These include infection, blood or fluid collections under the skin, prolonged numbness, poor scars, blood clots etc. However, in healthy patients with few or no risk factors, this procedure is very safe with a low rate of serious complications. Make sure that your surgeon is a board-certified plastic surgeon with significant experience in this type of surgery and you are likley to have an excellent outcome.
You might also like...
Tummy Tuck Safety
Post operative care is critical and an important part of the surgical process. Be sure to have post operative appointments scheduled before surgery and report any concerns to your plastic surgeon's office right away.
A tummy tuck is a safe procedure IF it is performed on a...
A tummy tuck is a safe procedure IF it is performed on a healthy non-obese patient and is performed by an American Board of Plastic Surgery certified surgeon who performs the surgery frequently.
The most significant complications that can occur from a tummy tuck are fluid collections in the wound after your drain is removed and blood clots in the veins. The first of these is a nuisance problem that resolves with drawing out the fluid with syringes. The second problem, namely blood clots in the veins, is a serious and potentially life threatening complication. Many measures can be taken to minimize the risk including stopping hormone replacement therapies preop, using compression stockings and pneumatic pumps during surgery, and insisting on early ambulation postoperatively. With these measures, blood clots are rare.
All in all, tummy tucks are great surgeries for the properly selected patient!
Tummy tucks are safe and satisfying procedures.
A tummy tuck is a very safe procedure. I will admit that most patients feel it is a painful procedure, especially if the muscles have to get repaired.
The biggest risks, in my opinion, of the procedure are:
- wound healing problems
- post-op fluid collections
- blood clots in the legs (deep vein thrombosis (DVT))
- clots being thrown to the lungs (pulmonary embolism)
The risks of all these problems are usually less than 5-8%.
When I perform a tummy tuck, I typically give my patients extra IV fluids in the pre-op area before surgery and put anti-embolism stockings on their legs to massage the veins in the legs while they are asleep. To this I add early post-op walking to minimizing clot potential.
Finally, most surgeons put their patients in an abdominal binder, at least, to help with compression and pain control. I only have my patients wear their binders when walking around. I think that binders squeeze too tightly on the tummy and put pressure on leg veins when in the sitting position.
Good attention to preventing bleeding during surgery can help reduce the risk of post-op bleeding problems (hematoma) and fluid collections (seroma). A skin closure that is just tight enough, and good nutrition, can keep wound healing problems down.
I hope this helps answer your question.
Tummy tuck safety
Tummy-Tuck, risk vs benefit
Tummy tuck safety
Following surgery, the most common adverse events are minor: wound healing issues, managed with proper wound care, and minor revision if necessary; seroma (sterile fluid collection under the flap of abdominal skin and fat that was created), prevented with drains, but sometimes inevitable - and managed with simple, albeit occasionally tedious, drainage in the office, under local anesthetic; contour irregularities from liposuction; and formation of an unfavorable scar. By definition, tummy tuck produces a fairly long, curved scar across the lower abdomen, as well as a circumferential one around the belly button. Proper surgical planning involves placing the incision low enough that the scar is covered by nearly any bikini bottom and most underwear; skillful technique ensures creation of an aesthetically pleasing belly button, with an inconspicuous scar.
The most common serious complication that is possible with tummy tuck is thromboembolic disease, the formation of a blood clot in the leg (deep venous thrombosis), that can then travel to the lungs (pulmonary embolism). Thankfully, this is a highly uncommon event (less than 1%), that we take the highest level of precaution against. Risk factors include smoking, hormonal birth control or hormone replacement therapy, and history of cancer or blood clotting disorder. The greatest single precaution taken against thromboembolic disease is walking in the days following surgery, rather than lying in bed. Those who are calculated to have a higher than average risk are given a dose of a blood thinner immediately before surgery, and in extreme cases, for a few days afterward.
Again, in the hands of a qualified and board-certified plastic surgeon, tummy tuck is overall very safe. Risks are well-defined, and meticulous precautions are taken to manage those risks - and in the proper hands, dramatic, beautiful results are not only possible, but the expected outcome.
Tummy Tuck Risks and Safety, Connecticut
All the best!
These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.