Candidates for tummy tuck are physically healthy and have realistic expectations about the range of cosmetic outcomes possible from the procedure. Their weight should be stable, but are still bothered by excess skin and fat around the abdomen.
Patients who smoke or have serious conditions that may interfere with the regular healing process are not good candidates for a tummy tuck. Patients who are unable to maintain a constant weight are also not good candidates.
Like other procedures, a tummy tuck requires certain general surgery procedures such as preoperative blood testing, medications, and cessation of smoking or use of pain relievers and anti-inflammatory drugs.
During initial recovery, patients should refrain from vigorous activity, which could open up incision sites, causing hematomas (excessive bleeding) or seromas (fluid buildup). However, patients should engage in light activity to prevent blood clots from forming. The incision site will heal in 2 to 3 weeks, but pain and soreness may persist longer. Patients can typically return to work after 2 to 3 weeks.
As with any surgery, there are risks of complications related to infection or adverse reactions to anesthesia. A proper assessment of every patient, along with complete lab work, will help prevent postoperative complications. After healing, scars are handled with special treatments to help minimize their appearance.
Complications include fluid accumulation, death of fatty tissue, recurrent skin looseness, skin loss, and persistent pain. A tummy tuck is a intensive medical procedure that removes significant amounts of skin. Without following proper postoperative care instructions, you may be at greater risk for needing revision surgery or facing serious complications.