How dangerous is Tummy Tuck considered. What are the key risks?

Doctor Answers 11

Tummy tuck risk.

A tummy tuck is a safe procedure for the majority of women. Complications which can arise tend to be minor - wound healing difficulties, fluid collections, or widened scars. An uncommon complication but serious is the risk of deep blood clots in the large veins which can lead to a pulmonary embolism or PE. A PE can be a life threatening complication. It is much more common when intra-abdominal procedures (hysterectomy for instance) are combined with a tummy tuck. In these cases, it is common to prescribe blood thinners to reduce the risk. As with any surgery, cosmetic or otherwise, appropriate medical clearance should be obtained prior to having the operation.

Boca Raton Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 25 reviews

How dangerous is tummy tuck...........

all surgery carries risks. The most serious risks of an abdominoplasty is a deep venous vein thrombosis or pulmonary embolism. When your surgeon is proactive in preventing these complications the risks are diminished very substantially. The use of TEDs stockings, leg pumps and low-dose anticoagulation should reduce the risk almost to 0.

Patrick Briggs, FRCSI (Plast)
Perth Plastic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

How dangerous is Tummy Tuck considered. What are the key risks?

Bleeding, infection, fluid collection, wound separation, wound healing issues, and blood clot would be a few of the complications to be considered.   I would search for the board certified plastic surgeon who you feel is most likely to give you the best results and who performs hundreds of these procedures each year. I would look at patient reviews as well as before and after photos on that surgeon's website.

Kenneth Hughes, MD

Los Angeles, CA

Kenneth B. Hughes, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 492 reviews

How dangerous is Tummy Tuck considered. What are the key risks?

There are associated risks with any type of surgery. The risks will be explained to you during consultation with a board certified plastic surgeon.

German Newall, MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 53 reviews

How dangerous is Tummy Tuck considered. What are the key risks?

Every surgical procedure has its risks. Depending on your medical history-- your risks will be outlined during your in person consultation . If you're over 40 or have any medical conditions- a medical clearance from your primary doctor will be required.

Thomas Trevisani, Sr., MD
Orlando Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 63 reviews

How dangerous is Tummy Tuck considered. What are the key risks?

All the previous expert responders have responded. I recommend you see in person at least 3 boarded PSs in Miami/Dade.....

Darryl J. Blinski, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 173 reviews

Risk of surgery

Complications with tummy tucks are fairly uncommon, but you are wise to learn all you can about proceeding with surgery.  Some risks are bleeding, infection, wound healing issues, and blood clots.  Many steps are taken to minimize risk during surgery.  During a consultation with a board certified plastic surgeon, the procedure can be explained to you and the strategies used to lower chance of risk can be discussed.

Camille Cash, MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

TT risks

Generic risks of all surgeries including TT are infection and bleeding.  Almost all surgeons will take steps to minimize those by using antibiotics at the start of surgery, and using lots of local anesthetic with adrenalin to minimize blood loss.

More common with TT than with other plastic surgery operations is blood clots in the leg veins and possible pulmonary embolism.  This is more common in patients with a personal or family history of clots. This risk can be minimized by using blood thinners, most commonly Lovenox injections, after surgery. The decision to use thinners is based on assessment of the risks, there are various scoring mechanisms (Cabrini score, for example). 

All the risks are magnified in patients who are significantly overweight (BMI over 30).  The closer you are to your ideal weight, the lower the risks, and the better the outcome.

All the best 

Jourdan Gottlieb, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 45 reviews

How dangerous is Tummy Tuck considered. What are the key risks?

Thank you for the question.The serious complications that may occur with tummy tuck surgery include deep venous thrombosis, pulmonary embolism, pneumonia, infection, bleeding, and even death. Fortunately, the potential for these types of major complications are very small, assuming careful selection of plastic surgeon, anesthesiologist, and fully accredited surgery facility. Other types of complications that are more likely include superficial incision line healing problems ( wound healing problems), seromas, abdominal wall asymmetry, abnormal scarring, unsatisfactory cosmetic result… I hope this and the attached link helps. Best wishes.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,488 reviews

Surgical Risk with Tummy Tuck

Although there are many other unlikely risks, the main complications of this type of surgery is infection, bleeding, wound complications and seroma formation.  Although the first two are rare, the last two can present issues with healing, especially in those larger individuals, whose BMI is greater than 35.  I recommend consulting with a Board-Certified plastic surgeon who will review these risks and any of those that may be tailored to your individual procedure.  Best wishes!

John Layke, DO, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 50 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.