While tummy tucks have one of the highest satisfaction rates of all cosmetic surgeries, patients should know going in that there are some complications that can develop, as with all major procedures. Fortunately, following your plastic surgeon's advice during recovery from a tummy tuck will all but eliminate the risks associated with the surgery.
As with most plastic surgeries, one of the bigger risks has to do with infections of the surgical wounds. Many patients do not properly care for the incisions made by the surgeon during their recovery, and this can lead to harmful bacteria infiltrating the body and causing the patient to become sick.
Your plastic surgeon should provide you with instructions on how to clean the incisions made during a tummy tuck, and may also provide you with drains used to remove fluid from the area. In general, try to avoid exposing the incisions to water until your tummy tuck recovery is complete. Regularly changing the dressings on the incisions is also critical when it comes to preventing infection.
It's important that you are completely honest with your doctor about your full medical history prior to tummy tuck surgery, including whether or not you are a smoker. Various medical factors can inhibit the body's ability to heal over time, and this will affect your tummy tuck recovery period. If your surgeon does not know your complete medical history, he or she may assume you will recover more quickly than you actually do.
Blood clots are another reason to be completely open with your surgeon. Blood clots are naturally formed by the body in reaction to cuts, even if that cut is due to surgery. Some medications, such as birth control pills, can increase the risk of a harmful type of blood clot forming, however. It's important your surgeon knows about this ahead of time so they can prescribe any necessary medications to counteract these effects.