No surgery is ever a risk-free procedure. But in the hands of a skilled surgeon, the risks are minimal, or even non-existent.
Possible Dangers of Surgery
Some of the complications that arise from a tummy tuck operation are necrosis (loss of skin), asymmetrical or irregular tucks, or improper healing.
Tummy tucks always produce a permanent scar, and this is information that prospective patients should know. This scar often extends from hip to hip. In most cases, the doctors ensure the positioning of the scar is such that it is not visible under most clothing, even swimwear, so that it is not noticeable to onlookers.
However, because of individual healing patterns, this scar may turn out to be an ugly, raised, and irregular mark. Sometimes, the scar bulges outwards, in the form of a “dog ear”. In case of prominent extensions, the surgeons often revisit the scar area at a later time.
Infections that result from the surgery are treated with the use of antibiotics and drainage. But any infections that occur, only delay the healing process to longer than is normal.
You may also run the risk of blood clots after the surgery. Continual movement after the surgery, as soon as is possible, is required to prevent the formation of clots.
Post-surgery and Recuperation
A tummy tuck is a major surgical procedure and often requires heavy medication to alleviate the discomfort and pain that follows the surgery.
A hospital stay of a couple of days is required in most cases. This, however, can also be swapped for professional nursing care at home, if you so prefer it.
For the duration of some weeks after the surgery, you will be required to wear an abdominal supporter. This supporter replaces the dressing at the time of discharge from the hospital.
A patient who has recently undergone a tummy tuck procedure is advised bed rest for some days after the procedure. To minimize the pain and to remain comfortable, the legs should be kept bent at the hips so that there is very little strain on the abdominal area.
Though it is a major operation, recovery is generally quick. Within a few days, you should be able to carry out your normal activities. However, it is important that you not indulge in strenuous activities for at least three to four weeks; although you may well be able t go back to work within the first couple of weeks itself.
Your doctor will ask you to resume walking as soon as is possible for you, but you may find it difficult at first. Patients generally complain of a “lugging sensation” when they try standing up after this surgery. It is only after the body gets accustomed to the tightened abdomen region that this feeling will pass, and for that you will require patience to keep trying even if faced with discomfort.
Bruising after the surgery is uncommon but not unheard of. Swelling, on the other hand, is common, and may be present for up to three months after the procedure took place. You will also experience a loss of sensation in the skin around your abdominal region, which may not return for several months.
The surface stitches on your abdomen will be removed within a week after your operation. The deeper stitches, which do not dissolve and remain visible above the surface, will be removed after two-three weeks.
Exercise is not advisable till it does not cause any discomfort. The normal duration for this stage of recovery is five to six weeks after the surgery. Patience is a virtue after such a procedure, as it may be a year before your body returns to normal and the scars become less noticeable.
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