How long after surgery is the safe zone for blood clots?

I have been reading about some cases where people have developed blood clots after surgery. How long after surgery is the safe zone, where if you haven't developed a clot, you won't? Do a lot of people develop non life threatening clots after surgery? I am specifically inquiring about a tummy tuck/ breast lift surgery together.

Doctor Answers 8

Blood clots after mommy make-over

Blood clot risk depends on risk factors - such as age, weight, length of surgery,
The risk is present until you are walking normally - about 5 - 7 days.
For higher risk people, dividing the surgery and giving heparin after surgery reduces the risk.
Discuss the risk with your surgeon and  follow his/her advice.

Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

Mommy makeover aftercare

After a mommy makeover, it takes time for the implants to settle (if you got implants) and it takes time for the swelling to resolve. This can take up to 6 months so I don't usually recommend any revisions for that time. Specific questions about problems with the surgery are usually best directed to the plastic surgeon who performed your surgery. Thanks for your question!

Blood clots following mommy makeover

The majority of clots form during surgery and present within the first few days following surgery.  Mobility, or early ambulation is advantageous towards the prevention of clots.

As soon as possible following your tummy tuck, begin ambulating to the bathroom and taking steps around in the house.

Blood clot incidence is greatly reduced if sequential compression devices are placed on patients during surgery.  All patients in my practice have these devices placed before each surgery.  They simulate walking during the procedure by compressing the lower foot and leg.  This increases blood flow back to the heart and prevents clots following surgery.

Christopher J. Morea, MD
Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 191 reviews

How long is the safe zone for blood clot formation after surgery?

The safe answer to this question is one month. The great majority of blood clots normally present within the first week of surgery. The incidence tapers over the next several weeks. This type of surgery is safe if it is performed by an experienced plastic surgeon Board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, in properly selected patient's in an accredited surgical facility. Many surgeons employ a risk assessment protocol for the development of blood clots and pulmonary embolism in each patient. If you score high enough in the risk assessment you may be placed on some type of blood thinner after surgery. Many surgeons employ sequential compression stockings during surgery to help your blood to continue to move thus helping prevent the formation of a blood clot during the operation. It is very important that you ambulate regularly after the procedure to help further prevent this problem. Good luck

John J. Edney, MD
Omaha Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 117 reviews

Blood clots after surgery

Most clots form during surgery if not in the first week.  Early mobilization, active compression of legs during surgery and blood thinners are ways to decrease your risk of blood clots.  As a patient you can decrease this potential by moving around after surgery rather then staying in bed.  You don't need to be active and exertional to decrease blood clots only mobile.  Following 1 week the risk greatly decreases.    

Mark E. Crispin, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 23 reviews

How long after surgery is the safe zone for blood clots?

The first few days are the time when blood clots form. The vast majority of clots are not fatal. In over 30 years of practice I have ony seen 2 patients with the problem and both survived.

Ronald V. DeMars, MD
Portland Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Blood Clots

The typical time frame where blood clots in your veins, DVT's, are at the highest risk are the first 3-5 days after surgery.  This begins at the time you begin your surgery until you are more mobile afterwards.  There are many measures that your doctors will take to avoid and minimize these risks.  After 5 days the risk of blood clots begins to decrease rapidly.

John G. Apostolides, MD, FACS
La Jolla Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 23 reviews

How long after surgery is the safe zone for blood clots?

The vast majority of thromboembolic complications occur within the first few days after surgery.  It would be very unusual (but still possible) to see deep venous thrombosis  present after 2 weeks.  Best wishes. 

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,499 reviews

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.