Tummy Tuck Complications: What to Know and How To Prevent Them

he decision to have abdominoplasty or tummy tuck surgery may be the first or last step in your quest for a better-looking body. A tummy tuck is likely to be the solution if your belly skin is loose due to having children or rapid weight loss. Excess skin and fat are removed, and the abdominal muscles are tightened. A tummy tuck entails risks, including those inherent in any surgical procedure, such as bleeding or infection. Abdominoplasties have additional risks that you should fully understand and consider before proceeding with the procedure.


A tummy tuck necessitates a long incision that runs from hip bone to hip bone. Following surgery, the scar may become raised or irregular. These cosmetic outcomes can be addressed and improved once the abdominoplasty has healed, but the scar is permanent. The most serious risk of scarring is that the healing process is prolonged and exacerbated by insufficient blood flow. This can happen for a variety of reasons, the most common of which are what happens during surgery and immediately afterward. You can help increase blood flow to the scar by not smoking, but we prefer to check your scar the day after surgery to ensure everything is in order.


After a tummy tuck, you should expect numbness. A tummy tuck will leave you numb near the scar in the lower portion of your abdomen on its own. You may experience numbness throughout your abdomen if you combine liposuction (the suction removal of fat deposits) with your tummy tuck. It can be numb for six months to a year, but it usually only takes a few weeks for the sensation to return.

Lumps and Bumps

Little lumps and bumps can sometimes be seen or felt in the area after a tummy tuck. These can last for a few weeks until the internal sutures dissolve and the swelling subsides. Occasionally, the uneven appearance will persist for a longer period of time. If you have lumps and bumps three months after surgery, you should see your doctor for an evaluation. Liposuction or fat grafting may be required in addition. This is extremely unlikely to happen with our skilled plastic surgeons. If this occurs, our doctors will do everything possible to take care of you and correct the situation to your satisfaction.

Blood Clots

Tightening of the abdominal muscles is the most serious risk for patients undergoing a tummy tuck. Your belly will have a flat, firm profile as a result. However, you should be aware that tightening the muscles can be painful, particularly when taking deep breaths or coughing after surgery. Deep breathing (and moving your feet up and down to flex your calf muscles) is essential for returning blood to the heart at any time, but especially after surgery. You may not want to do it because of your muscle tightness, but it is necessary, and we provide you with a special machine called an “incentive inspirometer” to encourage you to do it. Slow blood flow back to the heart may cause a clot to form in the leg, and if that clot travels to your lungs, the risk is serious, and can even be fatal.

The surgical team takes several precautions to avoid the formation of blood clots during the procedure, including placing squeezing devices on the legs to mimic blood flow and keeping the body warm and hydrated throughout the procedure. In addition to the incentive inspirometer, patients are given blood-thinning medication after surgery, which is self-administered by injecting it into the thigh beginning the day after surgery. This is one of those “above and beyond” precautions that most practices do not require, but your doctor considers an important addition to post-operative care to minimize risk as much as possible.

How to Prevent Them?

There are several things you can do to reduce your risks before having tummy tuck surgery. During your consultation, the team will provide you with a detailed list of proactive steps you can take to help ensure the success of your tummy tuck. The following are the most important:

– You should not smoke. Smokers are more likely to experience complications during the wound-healing process. Being smoke-free is essential because the tummy tuck requires such a long incision. If you smoke, quit for a month before the surgery to reduce your chances of the wound reopening in spots or taking longer to heal.

– Inform your surgeon about all medications you are taking during the consultation. Some of these medications may cause complications during surgery, so bring a complete list with dosages noted. Don’t forget about over-the-counter medications!

– Check that your weight is stable. Tummy tuck candidates do not have to be a specific weight, but if you intend to lose weight or your weight fluctuates frequently, speak with your doctor about how to achieve stability to ensure the best-looking result. There is no perfect age for tummy tuck candidates. In fact, if you’re a little heavier, the doctor will be able to predict your results more accurately. So, no fasting before surgery!

– If you lose a few pounds after a tummy tuck or liposuction, that’s fantastic! However, gaining 15, 20, or 30 pounds will reverse the procedure’s effects and may be difficult to reverse.

As Turkey’s busiest tummy tuck practice, the MayClinik team has seen it all in the operating room. They perform hundreds of tummy tucks each year and are well-versed in dealing with and correcting complications. MayClinik surgeons, as expert practitioners of the procedure, also perform corrective surgery for patients who had a tummy tuck or liposuction performed by less experienced surgeons. Many “botched” tummy tucks have been improved, much to the delight of their patients.

When considering invasive surgery like a tummy tuck, it’s critical to understand the risks and do your part to ensure a smooth recovery. Our team is here to answer any questions you have, no matter how big or small, so you are well informed and prepared for the big day. Moreover, unlike other plastic surgery practices, your entire surgical experience will take place in our pristine, comfortable facility. From your initial consultation to your operation and recovery, we will be there for you every step of the way.



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