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4 Main Risks of a Tummy Tuck

Find out the four main risks of having a tummy tuck from plastic surgeon Robert J. Morin, M.D. in this Howcast video.


There are four important risks to consider before having a tummy tuck surgery - bleeding, infection, a fluid collection (also known as a seroma), and contour irregularities and asymmetry. So, the first potential risk is bleeding. This is a risk any time any surgery is performed. It's important for the surgeon to take time to make sure that there's no bleeding during the course of the surgery, however, bleeding is a known risk of any surgical procedure. Infection is a risk in all operations. We generally tend to give patients antibiotics to try to prevent infection.

We also take great care in the sterility during the operation and in our dressing care and our wound care. All these things help prevent infections, however, still a possibility. In addition to those two complications that can be seen in any surgery, specific to tummy tuck surgery, fluid collections, also known as seromas, are relatively common. This is because fluid collects between the skin that is lifted off of the muscle wall and the muscle wall that protects the contents of the stomach, or the abdomen. If this fluid were to collect after the drains are removed, then we would have to remove the fluid, potentially by inserting a needle and drawing the fluid out. So fluid collection is very well known, however the risk of a fluid collection can be decreased by following your surgeon's instructions, by wearing your abdominal binder, and by limiting your activity.

The final risk is a risk with all cosmetic procedures - minor contour irregularities and asymmetries. Again, a tummy tuck is an artistic procedure, therefore, sometimes there will be minor contour irregularities and or minor asymmetries that could potentially need to be corrected after surgery. So those are the four most important risks for tummy tuck surgery.

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