Tummy Tuck Risks

A tummy tuck in Canada, just like every surgical procedure, is associated with certain risks and complications. These are, for the most part, specific to individuals and can vary drastically. Some of the most common side effects and complications are listed below, but, to best understand your own risks, ask us how they may apply to you.SIDE EFFECTSThe potential side effects of a tummy tuck may include swelling, scarring, numbness, bruising and discomfort. Tummy tuck swelling is very common, as are the other side effects.
TUMMY TUCK COMPLICATIONSSome patients may experience complications due to problems that occur during the procedure or while recovering. Along with unexpected anaesthetic reactions, these rare dangers of a tummy tuck include:


Patients are given antibiotics during surgery and a prescription for antibiotics that is to be taken after treatment. These work to reduce the chance of developing an infection.


A haematoma involves bleeding under the skin. This condition may require surgery to correct. If blood cannot be adequately drained from the area affected by the haematoma, excessive bleeding may need to be treated through a blood transfusion or surgery. The most common form of haematoma is far less severe, though. The problem is usually treated through aspiration or the placement of a drain that targets the localized blood collection.

The risk of developing a haematoma is minimized when a patient follows pre- and post-operation instructions. Avoid taking any blood thinners (aspirin, anti-inflammatories or vitamin E) in the time before and after surgery.


A seroma is a collection of fluid around the operational site. Patients who develop a seroma can be easily treated through a routine draining procedure.

Numbness and Skin Irritation

Numbness is usually very noticeable immediately after surgery, especially below the belly button in the midline. Over time, however, enough feeling returns that patients don’t pay attention to it any longer. This usually takes somewhere between three to eight months. Be careful when applying heat to numb areas, as even the minimal heat of a hot water bottle may damage or burn the skin if not carefully used.

Unusually Red or Raised Scars

Unusually red or raised scarring can take several months to fade. In other cases, bad scarring or the formation of keloid or hypertrophic scars can occur. This is usually the fault of a genetic predisposition towards improper scarring, something that can affect patients of all skin colours (and not just those of darker skin as previously believed).

Blood Clots

Blood clots (deep vein thrombosis or cardiac and pulmonary complications) can result from lengthy surgeries where the patient is immobilized. The main concern associated with the formation of (or increase in) blood clots in the veins of the legs is their ability to travel to other parts of the body. Blood clots that travel to the lungs, for example, can cause pulmonary embolism — a life threatening and, in some cases, fatal condition.

We commonly use compression stockings on the legs, and a very small dose of a blood thinner immediately before surgery, to help prevent clotting. The risk of developing blood clots can be reduced by moving as soon as possible after the surgery is complete. Patients are also urged to discuss their medical history with us. Any past history of blood clots, swollen legs or the use of estrogen or birth control pills can contribute to blood clotting and must be disclosed during consultation. Patients who experience an irregular heartbeat, chest pain or shortness of breath after treatment should immediately contact their physician and receive medical attention. In some cases additional procedures and hospitalization may be required.

Fat Necrosis

During the body’s recovery process some of the deeper skin fat may die while other tissue heals. While fat necrosis is usually benign, patients who notice irregular body contours or areas of unusual firmness should contact us.

The chance of developing any of these complications is usually less than five to eight percent




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