Tummy Tuck - Not scared of Pain but of Complications

25 years old. Ok, so this is how neurotic and full of anxiety I am. I have no medical issues.(well besides anxiety!) I am young. I am in shape as I work out 6 days a week cardio and weight training. 5'7 125 lbs. I don't smoke or drink. But I am just convinced that something bad is going to happen when I have a FTT next Monday (3/7/11) Blod clots, bleeding, death from anesthesia, skin necrosis, wound opening, seroma. Any advice, reassurance. My son is my world, I don't want to die from vanity!

What are the risks for me?

Doctor Answers 10

Tummy tuck Fears

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Thank you for the question. Your concerns are very common (the norm rather than the exception)  with moms about to undergo tummy tucks surgery. Assuming you're working with well experienced board-certified plastic surgeon and anesthesiologist the chances are extremely high that you will do very well with your operation.
A few words of advice may be helpful...
You are about to undergo a major operation which often involves a significant physical and emotional recovery. A few words of advice may be helpful:
1. Make sure you are doing the procedure for the right reasons (for yourself)  and that you have realistic expectations.  Be aware that an improvement in the “problem area” may not translate to an overall improvement in your life   situation.  You are bound to be disappointed with results of the procedure if your motivation for doing the surgery is not internally driven.
2. Time your surgery carefully; generally, it is not a good idea to have surgery done during or immediately after a stressful period in life (for example divorce or death of a loved one). The additional stress of surgery will undoubtedly be  more challenging to deal with if a patient's emotional reserves our already exhausted. Remember, that an improvement in your physical appearance will not translate to an improvement in your life situation.
3. If possible speak to patients who have undergone similar procedures and query them about the toughest times of their recovery period. Any practical hints previous patients can provide may be very helpful.
4. Make sure you are aware of potential complications that may arise how to reach your surgeon if necessary.
5. Make sure you have a strong and patient support system (several people if possible) in place who have time/patience to take care of you. Arrange for professional nursing if any doubt exists regarding the availability and/or stamina  of your caretakers.
6. Be patient with the healing process, understanding that it will take several weeks to months to feel “normal” again. It may also take many months/year to see the end results of your surgery.
7. Be prepared to distract your mind with things of interest such as books, magazines, and movies.
8. Expect less of yourself; do not go back to work, school or chores too early and let others take care of you (for a change).
9. Pick your surgeon carefully (a well experienced board-certified plastic surgeon) and trust in his/her advice. Keep in close communication with your surgeon and do not hesitate to communicate questions/concerns and the   emotional swings that you may experience.
10. Resume all medications that you were using preoperatively when cleared by your plastic surgeon and stop the use of narcotics and sedatives as soon as feasible after surgery.
11. Keep in mind the end results as you go through the tougher emotional times after your surgery.
I hope this helps.

Minimal risks with tummy tuck for healthy person

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It sounds like you are experiencing the normal anxiety that mothers do when considering an elective procedure.The list of potential complications is scary, but part of the informed consent process. However, if your operation is going to be done by a board-certified plastic surgeon in an accredited surgical facility, you will minimize the risk.  Other factors in your control are not smoking, healthy weight, consider temporarily stopping birth control puills if you use them.

Anxiety Before a Tummy Tuck

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All of your fears are completely normal. Looking at your pictures though, it appears that you are an ideal candidate for the procedure. Be up front with your surgeon and let them know about your anxiety.


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It is very normal to be anxious about an upcoming surgery. Most patients are. However,  if it is overwhelming, then perhaps this is an issue that should be addressed with your surgeon.

Tummy tuck

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You certainly look like a good candidate for a tummy tuck, but I would go over all these things with your doctor to alleviate yoru concerns.

Concerns before a tummy tuck surgery.

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Many patients are nervous before a major surgery.  I am sure your surgeon has reviewed all of the complications with you by now and the only good advice to give you at this point is to follow all of your post operative instructions and to get lots of rest following the procedure.  Relax!  Since you are a healthy woman, I am sure you will have excellent results!

Risk with tummy tuck....

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Any procedure will have some degree of risk, which your Doctor will go over with you. It is unlikely you will have a big problem since you are in such good physical condition. Good luck!

Victor Au, MD (retired)
Chapel Hill Plastic Surgeon

Excellent candidate for Tummy Tuck

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Thank you for your question. You appear to be an excellent candidate for tummy tuck and if you are in good health with no major medical problems, are not a smoker, and not taking blood thinning medications then a Tummy Tuck should be a safe procedure.

Your concerns are very common among Tummy Tuck patients who have young children.

Be sure to express your concerns to your plastic surgeon and I am sure he or she will help calm your fingers.

Tummy tuck complications

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  You are young, a non smoker and a work out regularly.  You have more predictability than some.  Remember too that most all patients think that any plastic surgery involving anesthesia means that they will die or get into big time issues for complications.

  You will have a nice outcome.  Stay confident....be excited.

        Steven M. Lynch, M.D.

Low risk

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Being so fit with no medical issues, you shouldn't be worried so much as you at a low risk for complications, as long as you follow your surgeon's instructions closely. It is very, very rare for complications to occur! The risk is under 5%. 

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.