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Often, despite the desire to achieve a better-looking body contour, the thought of surgery can make you feel uneasy. Abdominoplasty, also known as a tummy tuck, is done to remove excess skin and tighten the underlying abdominal tissues for a smoother, firmer abdominal profile.
Like any other type of major surgery, a tummy tuck poses the risk of complications.
These could include infections, incisions that take longer to heal, excessive swelling, extensive scarring, loss of sensation, clotting, or necrosis of fatty tissue beneath the skin. Therefore, before moving forward with the process, it is always important to consider the risks of this procedure and do your part to ensure a smooth recovery.
What Are Some of the Factors That Increase Your Risk of Complications After a Tummy Tuck?
Smoking increases the risk of damaging the tissues deep within your abdominal area.
Additionally, smoking and tobacco use decreases blood flow in the skin and slows down the wound-healing process. Considering a tummy tuck involves a longer incision, being smoke-free is crucial for successful recovery.
If you are a smoker, your doctor will recommend that you quit for at least one month before your surgery and during recovery.
Your risk factors increase the older you are. With age, there is reduced skin elasticity and collagen production, causing the healing process to be longer.
The longer it takes to heal, the higher the chances of developing a complication, such as infection.
Ideally, it is advisable to maintain a stable weight for at least one year before having a tummy tuck.
If you are severely overweight, ensure you lose excess weight before the procedure to avoid diminishing your results with subsequent weight loss.
You are more likely to experience complications if you have a chronic health issue like diabetes, heart disease, and hypertension, as these conditions affect circulation and blood flow.
Always ensure that you share your complete health and medical history with your plastic surgeon.
Combined procedures can also significantly increase complication rates, especially in higher-risk patients, so this should be considered carefully.
According to a report by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the risk increased to 10.4 percent when abdominoplasty was combined with other procedures, such as body contouring and liposuction, compared to the 3.1 percent risk rate with abdominoplasty alone.
Ultimately, the most effective way to minimize tummy tuck complications is to choose a good surgeon with specialty experience in the area and follow their instructions for preparation and recovery.
Interested in Learning More?
At Plastic Surgery Center of Atlanta, our team is waiting to answer any questions you may have regarding your tummy tuck, so that you can stay informed and prepared for the big day.