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Tummy Tuck Articles 8

Postoperative Management and Complications in Tummy Tuck

Postoperative Management in Tummy Tuck

Generally, one drain is placed after a standard tummy tuck. A standard operative abdominal binder provides compression to decrease seroma formation and maximize contouring results. It is imperative that the patient ambulate early and often after surgery to reduce complications including deep venous thrombosis (blood clots in legs) and pulmonary embolus (blood clot that travels to the lungs).

Most Common Complications in Tummy Tuck

  • The most frequently described postoperative complications are seroma, wound separation, and infection
  • These are usually relatively minor in nature and can be addressed nonoperatively
  • Postoperative skin necrosis, scar dehiscence, dog-ears, and above-scar fat folds frequently require revision procedures
  • Injuries to the lateral cutaneous nerve of the thigh occur in as many as 10% of patients.
  • Fatal pulmonary embolism is uncommon (1/1000), but prophylaxis is prudent
  • Low-molecular-weight heparin can be administered to patients who are at higher risk for deep venous thrombosis and pulmonary embolism.
  • In addition, fat embolism has been reported when liposuction is added to abdominoplasty procedures.
  • Large quantities of tumescent fluid can lead to lidocaine toxicity and pulmonary edema.  This is more of a concern in large areas of liposuction performed at the same time as the tummy tuck.
  • Other procedures may be performed at the time of the tummy tuck including mommy makeover procedures, which may have their own attendant risks.