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A more invasive procedure than liposuction, an abdominoplasty, or tummy tuck, is a surgery used to remove fatty tissues and tighten the skin of the middle and lower abdomen area. Tummy tucks can raise your self-esteem level by improving your appearance to make you feel better about yourself.

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Out of the thousands of tummy tuck procedures performed each year, most patients experience no major problems and are happy with the results. However, there are risks associated with any plastic surgery procedure, and complications may occur.

Choosing a Qualified, Experienced Surgeon

A tummy tuck surgery performed by a board-certified plastic surgeon will not guarantee complete success without complications but it does establish the surgeon is qualified and experienced. It is crucial for the success of your surgery that a skilled surgeon performs your operation. It is for this reason that you should choose a board-certified surgeon.

Discuss your medical history, what medications are you are taking, your habits and lifestyle, all the risks and complications that could arise, any concerns you may have, and your expectations for the outcome of your surgery. This will allow your surgeon to decide if a tummy tuck would be the correct, safe and healthy choice for you.

How the Tummy Tuck Procedure Is Performed

Tummy tucks can be performed at both outpatient and inpatient facilities. An inpatient tummy tuck procedure might require you stay overnight in a hospital. If your surgery is being done at an outpatient facility, make sure it is completely accredited to lower your risk of infection or other complications occurring.

The anesthesia used for tummy tucks can be either local or general. Which type is used will depend on the length and extent of your individual surgery. Your surgeon will discuss with you which type of anesthesia is the right choice for you.

The amount of time needed to perform your surgery will be dependent upon whether you are receiving a partial or complete tummy tuck. You can discuss a general walk-through of what steps are taken during the operation with your surgeon. It is also a good idea to do some research on your own to get the best understanding of what will be happening to your body during the procedure.

When your tummy tuck procedure is completed, small tubes may be inserted before the area is wrapped in a stretchy dressing so that fluids can drain from your incisions.

Risks and Potential Complications of a Tummy Tuck

Pain and swelling are results of any surgery and a tummy tuck is no exception. You may be prescribed pain medications to help ease your pain and discomfort. Your surgeon will let you know the best way to care for your incisions as to reduce the risk of complications.

General anesthesia has the potential to cause serious negative complications, even in those that have successfully been put under general anesthesia before. Using a local anesthetic can reduce the risk but neither type of anesthesia is risk-free. Other complications that could possibly occur would be infection, bleeding during or after the surgery, loss of skin sensations, blood clots, slower healing times, allergic reactions, scarring, excessive swelling and bruising.

While it is non-medical, another complication that can arise is the patient being dissatisfied with their results. In rare cases, additional surgery is needed to bring about improved results and satisfaction.

They are uncommon but complications can and do occur at times. You are at a greater risk of complications developing if you smoke, take certain medicines, have diabetes or other diseases, or there is a history of blood clots in your family. Be sure to discuss all of these issues with your surgeon before making the decision to proceed with your tummy tuck surgery.