Are there risks and complications to a tummy tuck?

Every surgery has its risks. Dr. Edmund Kwan likes to ensure that every patient is sufficiently educated on the potential risks and complications involved in the surgery. The tummy tuck is a fairly major surgery in the spectrum of surgeries. It can be done very safely, but the tummy tuck involves making an incision in the lower belly. Bleeding is a possibility in this type of operation, but this is usually not a problem with experienced surgeons.

During surgery, a complete state of "hemostasis" is important, which means having a complete control over bleeding to have minimum complications. Infections are rare in the tummy tuck surgery, but the possibility cannot be ruled out. Other very rare complications include pulmonary embolism, which is a blood clot that can end up in the lungs, leading to serious problems. This risk tends to be much lower if the surgery time is limited. Patients must stop smoking a few days before undergoing this procedure so that the lungs are sufficiently clear at the time of surgery.

The risk of blood clots is rare, but an experienced surgeon will carefully study the medical history of the patient prior to surgery to determine whether the patient is at an increased risk of developing blood clots. If the patient is undergoing medication for hormone replacement or some types of cancer treatments, it may pose a risk of blood clots following the surgery.

The risk of infections can be minimized if the tummy tuck is performed at a sterile, well-equipped facility under the supervision of an experienced and reputed surgeon. Following the surgery, it is up to the patient to follow the instructions of the surgeon and take precautions against the risk of developing infections in the wounds, especially at the time of removing or changing bandages. The healing process may be slower in some patients, so it is important to observe all precautions against infections until the wounds are fully healed.

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