Despite the prevalence and relatively high success rate of abdominoplasty surgery, there are still risks, side effects and complications associated with this surgery that both applicants and health care providers should be aware of.
In fact, abdominoplasty can be more dangerous than other cosmetic surgeries! Especially when it is performed alongside other surgeries, according to a study by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, and a study by researchers at Vanderbilt University in Nashville. The researchers found that the risk of postoperative complications in most cosmetic surgeries was slightly more than 1%, and in the case of abdominoplasty, the figure is about 4%.
To improve and reduce the risk of side effects, it is very important to follow your specialist doctor’s instructions carefully before and after abdominoplasty. Choosing a reputable specialist doctor who is properly trained in the field of plastic surgery is the first step in reducing the risk of complications. Possible risks and complications of abdominoplasty generally include the following:
Abdominoplasty, like any other outpatient surgery, has certain side effect and complications that can be serious and long-lasting. Therefore, all people who intend to have abdominoplasty should be aware of all the risks and complications after surgery. When deciding whether to do so, we advise you to compare the benefits with the risks and side effects. Although it’s not uncommon for serious problems to occur, there is a risk of postoperative complications, and abdominoplasty is no exception. However, in some cases, serious complications such as blood clots, thrombosis, heart and lung problems, or infection may occur.
Nerve damage and persistent swelling in the legs, which may be accompanied by numbness in the limbs or heart and lung problems, are one of the side effects of abdominoplasty. Due to the fact that during some abdominoplasty surgeries, the surgeon removes some tissue and skin from the abdomen, there is a risk that the nerves in this area will be damaged during surgery; and this, can lead to a tingling sensation or loss of sensation in the abdomen altogether.
Infection is a low-risk but significant side effect of abdominoplasty. As explained by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, surgical infections can be quite variable; and while some infections are so advanced that they invade deep into the patient’s tissues, others They can be gentle enough to have a small effect on the tissue.
These infections occur when bacteria enter a wound created during surgery. To treat infections you usually have to use antibiotics. One way to prevent infection is to use disposable tools. Although it is difficult to completely eliminate the risk of complications after surgery, health centers can take preventive measures to minimize the risk of infection and use disposable tools in addition to conventional infection control strategies. These devices eliminate the risk of transmission of infection between patients; because they are used only once.
Infection or blood clots after abdominal surgery are a serious complication and risk; but they rarely occur. In addition to antibiotics, the placement of drainage tubes can also be a treatment for infection after abdominoplasty.
The first thing your specialist will suggest you to is to move as soon as possible after surgery to minimize the risk of blood clots; and so do we. Walking as fast as possible and stretching your legs, even in bed, can reduce the risk of blood clots.
Pulmonary embolism, heart attack, or stroke are very rare side effects of abdominoplasty that can occur due to inactivity after any surgery, not just abdominoplasty. Therefore, pulmonary embolism due to immobility after abdominoplasty surgery is a serious risk and if it occurs, it usually occurs within three weeks after surgery; but it is more likely to occur within the first 72 hours after surgery. For patients who are at higher risk for these complications, such as those who have had a previous heart attack, your specialist doctor may prescribe a mild blood thinner.
Wounds from abdominoplasty are long, large, and permanent in appearance. The size of the wound depends on the size of the skin being operated on, the techniques used for the surgery, the surgeon’s skills, and the body’s ability to heal faster. The scar may become red and large, but it eventually fades. Although this skin scar will never completely disappear; but it is usually covered by clothing. And it usually takes nine months to a year for the wounds to heal and lighten in color.
One of the most common complications after abdominoplasty surgery is the accumulation of fluid under the skin after the removal of the fallopian tubes. In this case, the specialist can remove the fluid with a syringe. However, this process stops within a month and does not adversely affect the final results of the operation. The pain will be more severe in the first few days after surgery. You can use painkillers to control the pain you are likely to experience.
There may be swelling in the affected area for up to three months after surgery. You may feel your abdomen stretch when you want to stand up straight. Bruising and swelling in the abdomen are normal.
The swollen area may contain interstitial fluid, which, as mentioned, the specialist can remove it; and it disappears over time. Other potential risks include: bleeding, poor healing, wounding or loss of skin, infection, and fat necrosis. If subcutaneous fat is lost due to insufficient blood supply, it can lead to small lumps under the skin. These problems usually go away over time.
Side effects usually delay the healing process; and in rare cases, you might need additional surgery to correct the possible complication! Skin necrosis is a complication that may require another surgery to remove the dead skin, which the surgeons will replace it with a skin graft. Although necrosis is very rare, smokers have a higher risk of developing skin necrosis after abdominoplasty. Quitting nicotine and smoking a few weeks before and after abdominoplasty keeps the body clean and increases the chances of a better, uncomplicated recovery.
If you are thinking of abdominoplasty surgery, expect wounds and scars. However, by following a few tips, you can help reduce it’s effects. Or if you want to make your scars disappear completely, you have to consider cosmetic treatments after abdominoplasty surgery. The tips you can follow for reducing the side effects of abdominoplasty such as scars are:
Surgery may not completely remove the scar made by abdominoplasty surgery; but it can help reduce the size, brighten the color of the wound, and improve it’s texture. Among the methods surgeon use to heal wounds as much as possible are:
You can use applied steroid treatments or injections to get rid of long, thick or red wounds. These treatments may be used during abdominoplasty surgery to prevent scars or to correct them four weeks after surgery. The cost of this treatment depends on the size and severity of the wound.
You should see a specialist before starting laser treatment. Laser treatment is expensive; and if you choose this treatment, you will probably need two or more sessions of laser treatment in a few months. In this procedure, the specialist uses a vascular laser to remove tiny blood vessels on the surface of the skin that cause redness.
Surface laser is also one of the best options to improve the texture and color of wounds. This technology can revitalize the skin. In this process, the injured skin is replaced with healthy collagen, which improves it’s texture and overall color.
If you want the scar to be closer to the natural color of the skin, scar surgery is a good option. Your specialist may use a combination of topical treatments, minimally invasive procedures, and surgery. After this treatment, the scar will still be there; but it will be less noticed and will disappear.
As with laser treatment, you should consult your specialist to make sure how long after abdominoplasty you can start this treatment. They may advise you to wait a year to check the wound healing process and then suggest different treatments. The cost of this procedure also varies depending on the type of scar and the treatment technique.
The things you do after an abdominoplasty are also very important. It is essential that you follow all the care instructions provided by your surgeon to reduce the complications that may occur after abdominoplasty as much as possible. Some general guidelines include the following:
In addition taking care as much as possible to reduce side effects after abdominoplasty, watch for any abnormal symptom. Some of the most common ones are the following: So, make an appointment with your specialist if you have any of the following symptoms: