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What Are the Side Effects of Tummy Tuck Surgery?

Posted January 18, 2016 in Tummy Tuck

Lower Torso of a Lady with her hands downTummy tuck (abdominoplasty) can help address stretchmarks and sagging of the stomach, making it and ideal procedure for people who have experienced major weight loss following pregnancy or bariatric procedures. Dr. Kimberly Henry has helped countless patients in and around the greater San Francisco area achieve a trimmer and slimmer frame thanks to tummy tuck surgery, and it can really do wonders for you.

Of course, all surgeries cause certain side effects to occur. With that in mind, we’d like to go over some of the basic side effects of tummy tuck surgery so patients can have realistic expectations about what to expect from the treatment process.

About Tummy Tuck Surgery

Tummy tuck surgery typically involves three incisions in an anchor shape around the lower abdominal area:

  • One lateral incision below the belly button that spans from hipbone to hipbone
  • A circular incision around the belly button
  • A vertical incision that connects the previous two incisions

Working through these incisions, a cosmetic surgeon is able to remove excess skin, adjust underlying tissues, tighten the remaining skin, and improve a patient’s overall body contour in the process.

The Effects of General Anesthesia

One of the most common side effects experienced after tummy tuck is related to general anesthesia. When coming out of general anesthetic, patients are likely to experience grogginess, nausea, dizziness, and fatigue. This is all normal, and it’s why patients should avoid driving and operating machinery in the first 24 hours after their tummy tuck.

Soreness and Discomfort After Tummy Tuck

After any kind of surgery, patients are bound to note soreness and discomfort as they recover. This is especially pronounced in the abdominal region where the work was performed. The pain and discomfort is more pronounced in the first days after surgery, though patients should notice improvements in pain and discomfort as they continue to recover.

Bruising After Tummy Tuck

Bruising is not uncommon after surgery given the way that the blood vessels are affected by incisions and adjustments to the abdominal region. In general, the bruising is more noticeable in the first days after surgery, gradually fading over the course of three weeks to a month.

Swelling After Tummy Tuck

Swelling is another common side effect, and also a sign that you are healing properly. Since the accumulation of fluid can be pronounced, it’s not uncommon to have drainage tubes kept around certain incision sites to help filter fluid from the body and minimize swelling. Major swelling typically abates over the course of a month, though minor swelling can persist for a few months.

Preventing Blood Clots After Tummy Tuck

Blood clots are a potential danger after any major surgery. This is particularly true of clots in the leg. In order to prevent the formation of dangerous blood clots, patients are asked to walk a little bit every day as they recovery. This improves circulation and helps prevent blood clot formation in the legs and other parts of the body.

Post-Surgical Scarring and What You Should Know

Scarring after tummy tuck is pronounced, though thankfully it I concealed by many undergarments, tops, and bathing suits. Over time, the scars should fade and become less noticeable, though keep in mind that the nature of scarring does vary from patient to patient.

How to Avoid Complications After Tummy Tuck

To avoid potential complications following a tummy tuck, it’s best for patients to follow all post-op instructions to the letter. This offers optimal conditions for post-surgical healing and proper recovery. We can go over these post-op instructions during the consultation process.

Contact Dr. Kimberly Henry

If you would like to learn more about tummy tuck surgery and your many other body lift options, be sure to contact our cosmetic plastic surgery and skin care centers today. Dr. Kimberly Henry will help you achieve a slimmer, trimmer, and more athletic frame.

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