Risks, Limitations, Good and Bad Candidates for Tummy Tuck

Risks Particularly Associated with Tummy Tuck

  1. seroma (fluid collection, which typically must be drained with a needle and syringe)
  2. dehiscence (breakdown of the wound)
  3. skin necrosis (death of part of the skin)
  4. umbilical loss (death of the belly button)
  5. nerve injury (usually the most common injury is to the lateral cutaneous nerve of thigh although generalized cutaneous numbness at the incision site is common)
  6. hypertrophic scar or keloid (typically more common in darker skin individuals or in people predisposed to this, usually runs in families, although the etiology is mutifactorial)
  7. slow healing (particularly in poor nutrition, diabetics, or in steroids)

Limitations in Tummy Tuck

Patients must clearly understand that because of bone structure, intra-abdominal fat, or existing scars, there are limitations to the results that can be achieved. Dr. Hughes will demonstrate which striae will be excised and which will remain (those above the belly button frequently remain).

Good Candidates for Tummy Tuck

  • Healthy
  • Close to his or her ideal body weight (within 20%)
  • Wishes to address lax abdominal tissue that is diet and exercise resistant
  • Stable weight for at least 6 months
  • Good skin tone and elasticity
  • Realistic expectations

Poor Candidates for Tummy Tuck

  • Significant comorbid disease
  • Morbid obesity
  • Unwillingness to stop smoking
  • Unrealistic expectations
  • Plans for future pregnancy (relative contraindication)
  • Upper abdominal transverse scars (relative contraindication)
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