Cosmetic Surgery Tips

Blood in urine after tummy tuck

There’s a lot of blood in my urine after my tummy tuck. What do I do? When you’ve had a tummy tuck, the doctor has made an incision in your abdomen and removed some of the fat and skin from the area to tighten it up. After this surgery, you’ll be bleeding slightly from that incision for a few days. There will also be some blood in your urine for a while as well. In most cases, this is normal and nothing to worry about.

However, if you’re noticing bright red blood in your urine that does not go away within 24 hours (or if it’s accompanied by pain), call your doctor immediately! This could be a sign that there’s something going wrong with your surgery or that you’ve developed an infection. In this guide, we review the aspects of Blood in urine after tummy tuck, stages of swelling after tummy tuck, lower stomach pouch after tummy tuck, and tummy tuck complications years later.

Blood in urine after tummy tuck

What are some of the tummy tuck risks you should be aware of before you have this surgery? Most serious complications associated with abdominoplasty (those resulting in hospitalization) are not very common. However, other non-life threatening problems such as less-than-ideal aesthetic results occur pretty frequently. More extensive forms of abdominoplasty (such as the Fleur-de-lys that uses a T incision) have a high rate of complications with wound healing compared to a traditional tummy tuck that has only a horizontal incision. Overweight patients and those who smoke tend to have higher than average tummy tuck complication rates.

The list of tummy tuck risks below includes both very rare and fairly common complications for this extensive and invasive plastic surgery. An experienced plastic surgeon can discuss your personal risk profile based on your medical history, the elasticity of your skin, the type of abdominoplasty you need, your lifestyle, and other factors. That way, you can make an informed decision about whether the risks are worth it for you. Be sure to get answers to all your questions prior to signing the informed consent form. This may include asking what course of action your surgeon would take if you do have a complication. Knowing what to expect in advance can help you identify potential warning signs of a complication and help you stay calm if something does go wrong.

Tummy Tuck Risks During the Operation

Adverse reaction to anesthesia resulting in respiratory failure or cardiac arrest is the most serious risk since it can cause death. However, the chances of this actually happening are extremely small. If you do have a history of allergic or adverse reactions to anesthesia, you are not a good candidate for a tummy tuck. Sometimes, patients may go into shock simply from the physical trauma of the surgery itself (especially for an extensive abdominoplasty or one done in conjunction with other plastic surgery procedures). Limiting yourself to one cosmetic surgery at a time is usually the wisest course of action.

Excessive bleeding is another potentially serious side effect. This is most common in patients who are taking medications that interfere with normal blood clotting. Since there are literally hundreds of prescription and over-the-counter drugs that can thin the blood and affect clotting, it is vital for you to disclose ALL substances you are taking prior to surgery. Your surgeon will let you know what is safe to keep taking, if you need to adjust your dosage, or if you should stop taking a medication temporarily.

Surgical error such as unintentional damage to important blood vessels is another potential risk during abdominoplasty surgery. Every surgeon makes mistakes at some point. However, this is much more likely with an inexperienced surgeon or one who agrees to do the surgery even for patients who are poor candidates. To protect yourself from this risk, you should thoroughly research the background and reputation of the surgeon you choose for your abdominoplasty. If you are turned down by one or more surgeons based on your risk profile, you should reconsider whether getting the surgery is really a good idea for you.

Tummy Tuck Risks During Early Recovery

The first week or two after tummy tuck surgery is the time when a number of serious complications may arise. These include:

  • Post-operative bleeding (in extreme cases, this may require additional surgery to stop the blood loss)
  • Fluid accumulation (the fluid may need to be drained)
  • Bloods clots including deep vein or pulmonary thrombosis which can be fatal (walking as soon as possible after surgery may help reduce this risk)
  • Fat necrosis causing lumps under the skin (fatty tissue that has its blood supply disrupted by the surgery may start to die)
  • Wound separation (the edges of the wound don’t knit together and the skin at the edges may die leading to permanent skin loss and the need for additional surgery to close the wound)
  • Wound infection (this may be treated with antibiotics if mild and with additional surgery if severe)

The following side effects generally occur beginning immediately after surgery and persist for a long period of time:

  • Pain ranging from moderate to severe. This is managed with prescription pain medication. Following post-operative instructions for rest and limiting activity may reduce the severity and duration of pain.
  • Swelling is a side effect that everyone experiences. Wearing the compression garment as directed will help reduce swelling and associated discomfort.
  • Skin discoloration such as bruising around the surgical site. This should fade over time.
  • Numbness, tingling, discomfort or other changes in skin sensation around the incision that may linger for many months.

Tummy Tuck Risks Later In Recovery

Later in your recovery, as the initial discomfort and swelling subside, you may notice additional problems. These include:

Asymmetry: Everyone has some asymmetry between their right and left side. However, a noticeable difference may occur after surgery in some cases. Liposuction may occasionally help even things out.

Dog ears: This term refers to the bunching of the skin that may occur at the two ends of the horizontal tummy tuck incision, creating little pointy bits of skin. These may smooth out over time during healing. If they don’t, the “dog ears” will need to be snipped off and the corners of the incision re-sutured, lengthening the scar slightly.

Weird-looking navel: Your belly button may look strange if it was “untethered” and reattached higher on your abdomen as it is in a traditional tummy tuck. If the result looks too unnatural, the belly button may be surgically reconstructed. This tummy tuck risk isn’t an issue with a mini tuck which leaves the navel intact.

Visible sutures: The sutures in the skin are removed within the first two weeks after surgery (unless absorbable sutures are used). However, the deep tissue sutures that help hold the underlying tissues in place remain inside you. In some cases, these may start poking out enough to be visible under the surface of the skin or actually poke through the skin. These sutures may need to be removed.

Excessive scarring: All patients experience some scarring. However, raised and discolored scars (keloid or hypertrophic scars) that are very unsightly may require laser treatment or other revision therapies to help them shrink and fade. Talk to your surgeon if you tend to have problems with scars. There may be steps you can take during recovery to minimize scarring.

Pictures swelling after tummy tuck

  • An extended tummy tuck is similar to a abdominoplasty, but the procedure also targets fat on the flanks and lower back.
  • The incision wraps from the low pelvis to the lower back.

Safety

  • Extended tummy tucks are generally considered safe. As with all surgeries, there are risks involved.
  • Risks include swelling, fluid accumulation, reaction to anesthesia, and numbness after surgery.

Convenience

  • Tummy tucks are an in-hospital procedure where patients are put under anesthesia.
  • If the procedure is elective, as most are, it will not be covered by insurance.
  • It’s important to find a trained, board-certified plastic surgeon whose work you trust.

Cost

  • The cost for a tummy tuck varies widely based on where you live, the procedure itself, and the size of the area.
  • It will usually fall between $4,000 and $18,000.

Effectiveness

  • Extended tummy tucks are very effective with studies reporting that the majority of those who elect to have this procedure are satisfied by the results.

What is an extended tummy tuck?

An extended tummy tuck is very similar to a regular tummy tuck — sometimes called an abdominoplasty — but instead of just reducing excess skin and fat on the stomach, it also targets the flank area, or love handles, between the waist and hips. In some cases, an extended tummy tuck will also target excess skin on the lateral thigh.

The ideal candidates for an extended tummy tuck include people who have lost a lot of weight and have excess skin, and those who want to slim the appearance of their stomach and flanks.

How much does an extended tummy tuck cost?

The cost of an extended tummy will vary depending on the surgeon, the volume of fat, and the size of the area. The price range for a tummy tuck generally falls between $4,000 and $18,000.

In 2019, the average cost of a tummy tuck (not extended) was $6,092 according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. Because there is more involved in an extended tummy tuck, the cost will likely be more. In addition, this cost is only for the procedure and does not take into account anesthesia, operating room facilities, or other related expenses.

Because tummy tucks are usually done for aesthetic reasons only, the procedure will not be covered by insurance. In some cases, a tummy tuck may relieve back pain and incontinence. You will also likely have to take several days off from work for recovery.

How does an extended tummy tuck work?

Extended tummy tucks work by removing excess skin and fat from the abdomen and repairing any muscles that have become loosened or torn. Through an incision above the pubic hairline that wraps around to the lower back, skin and fat are removed from the stomach and flank area. The skin is laid flat, and the belly button is reattached, giving the skin a smoother, flatter appearance.

In a 2012 studyTrusted Source of 25 individuals who underwent extended tummy tuck surgery, all 25 were “extremely satisfied” with the results.

Procedure for extended tummy tuck

  • During an extended tummy tuck, the surgeon will typically make an incision between your hip bones, low in the pubic area. If you’re having a tummy tuck after a C-section, they may reopen the same scar.
  • Any muscles that have been separated, such as from pregnancy, will be sewn together so they appear taut. Full tummy tucks can fix diastasis recti, which is a splitting of the abdominal muscles.
  • The belly button will be cut away, and liposuction may be performed if there is extra fat.
  • Excess skin is removed from the tummy and flank area, and the skin will be pulled taut.
  • Finally, the belly button is sutured in its original place, unless you and your surgeon decide to change its shape.

Targeted areas for extended tummy tuck

Extended tummy tucks target the upper and lower stomach, waist, flanks, and sometimes the uppermost lateral portion of the thigh.

Are there any risks or side effects?

As with all surgery, there are some risks and side effects associated with extended tummy tucks. One study found that 8.5 percentTrusted Source of people who underwent tummy tuck surgery were re-administered into the hospital because of some kind of complication. These complications and side effects may include:

  • numbness after surgery, which is typically temporary
  • excess fluid or blood pooling in the belly
  • swelling and redness
  • internal organ puncture — while rare, could be caused by cannula (a tube that removes excess fluids from the body) penetrating too deeply and potentially puncturing an organ

What to expect after an extended tummy tuck

Your surgeon or nurse should brief you on what to expect after surgery including:

  • what activities to avoid and how long
  • if and when you can consume alcohol and certain medications or supplements
  • how long to wear your compression garment
  • how to manage your drainage tubes, if your surgeon uses them
  • when to schedule a follow-up appointment

You will be able to see some results immediately, though your abdominal area will be swollen and bandaged. For the first few weeks, you will likely be advised to rest at an angle and avoid strenuous activity or lifting heavy things.

Around the 2- to 3-month mark, most of the swelling will likely have gone down, though you may still see some scarring, which should lighten over time. After 6 months to a year, you will see the full results, which should be permanent unless you gain weight quickly or have a pregnancy.

Before and after pictures

It’s helpful to see photos from people who have had extended tummy tucks when deciding if the procedure is right for you. Check out before and after photos below:VIEW GALLERY5

Preparing for an extended tummy tuck

Before your extended tummy tuck, you’ll likely need to get a blood panel to make sure you’re in good health. You will also want to meet with your surgeon to discuss what to expect. Also, you will need to arrange a ride home.

You may also be told to:

  • stop smoking
  • limit alcohol
  • stop taking anti-inflammatory drugs (like aspirin) and certain herbal supplements, which could potentially worsen bleeding or prevent proper clotting

Extended tummy tuck vs. traditional tummy tuck

An extended tummy tuck and a traditional tummy tuck are very similar procedures. The main difference is that an extended tummy tuck addresses the flanks, also known as love handles, between the waist and hip. Because of the additional procedure, an extended tummy tuck is often more expensive, takes longer to complete, and may require a longer recovery time post-surgery.

How to find a provider

An extended tummy tuck should only be performed by a board-certified plastic surgeon. You can use the American Society of Plastic Surgeons’ Find a Surgeon Tool tool to find a list of board-certified plastic surgeons near you.

Bloating 1 year after tummy tuck

Close up of woman's hand placed on her stomach.

Swelling after a tummy tuck, also known as an abdominoplasty, is quite typical for a surgery this extensive. How long swelling lasts after a tummy tuck depends on many different factors. Understanding why swelling occurs may help you to better prepare mentally and have more realistic expectations for your recovery and results.

Swelling after a Tummy Tuck Is Normal

Swelling in the abdominal area is perfectly normal and expected after a tummy tuck. In this area of the body, the blood vessels and lymphatic vessels work as a drainage system for fluids. During a tummy tuck, these vessels are cut. Because of this, the body removes fluid in the area a lot slower, resulting in fluid buildup known as edema or swelling.

Swelling is typically at its worst for the first 2 months following a tummy tuck, though everyone is a little bit different. As the body repairs blood and lymphatic vessels, the swelling should continue to resolve. This healing process can take up to a year or longer to complete, so it is common to see minor swelling in that time.

The amount of swelling experienced after your tummy tuck surgery can also vary depending on the treatment plan you choose. A mini tummy tuck or a drainless tummy tuck typically results in less recovery time and swelling than a traditional tummy tuck. Alternatively, adding liposuction to a tummy tuck can produce swelling in other areas of the body as well.

Swelling Can Fluctuate throughout the Day

After your initial swelling goes down, minor swelling continues and can be affected by your daily activity. This is because gravity is not your friend. For instance, long hours standing up can increase swelling in the abdomen, but this usually goes down after a good night of sleep. Once you start exercising, you may also notice increased swelling following workouts.

Tips to Help Reduce Swelling

Although swelling is a natural part of the healing process, there are some things you can do to help reduce the level of severity.

The best thing you can do to help minimize swelling is to follow your post-op instructions for tummy tuck recovery. You’ll be instructed to wear a compression garment for the first few weeks. Other tips to help reduce swelling include:

  • Getting plenty of rest
  • Staying hydrated
  • Eating a healthy diet low in sodium
  • Elevating your lower legs

stages of swelling after tummy tuck

Swelling is a normal side effect after a tummy tuck, no matter which incision type you have. Just like many other side effects, swelling will vary based on your individual immune system and healing process.

Swelling is temporary and will go away with time. Adhering to Dr. Small’s aftercare instructions following your tummy tuck in Long Island will help swelling go down. Infection or other complications can cause swelling to persist and prolong the recovery period. Controlling swelling will promote healing and help you see results faster.

Why Do Our Bodies Swell After A Tummy Tuck?

Once surgery is complete, your body sends white blood cells and other healing compounds to the surgery site to jumpstart the recovery process. Increased fluids will cause the area to grow larger during the initial stages of healing. Swelling is a completely normal response to an injury, which is why most swelling will be located near the incision site. A compression garment will be provided, which reduces swelling and yields better results.

Things To Avoid After Your Long Island Tummy Tuck

Being patient and letting your body heal will be the key to resolving swelling. Rushing your healing process or overexerting yourself can cause swelling to persist. Do not touch your stitches or the incision because your hands can introduce bacteria to the area and cause an infection.

Avoid activities that utilize your abdominal muscles in particular. Especially when your muscles are pulled tight during the procedure, the muscles need time to heal before being engaged.

Most importantly, listen carefully to all aftercare instructions. Dr. Small provides individualized instructions based on your medical history, current stage of healing, and other factors.

Ways To Decrease Swelling

Strenuous exercise and excessive movement will negatively impact your recovery. It is a good idea to go shopping before your surgery to ensure that you have everything you need during the initial stages of healing while your movement is limited. Buy food, water, and anything else you might want while you relax and heal at home.

Some tips for minimizing swelling include:

If you try reintroducing an activity and you experience pain or discomfort, stop and try again at another time. Listen to your body and don’t rush your recovery.

How Long Will I Need Compression Garments?

Patients typically wear a compression garment for about five to six weeks after their procedure. At first, the garment should be worn at all times, and Dr. Small will let you know when you can start taking it off or only wearing it for part of the day, and when you can stop wearing it altogether.

When Will My Swelling Go Down?

The majority of swelling resolves after approximately two months. About 80% of the swelling should subside, but many patients have minor swelling that can persist up to one year after surgery. At the two-month mark you will have a good idea of what your final results will look like and you will be able to resume most activities. Your follow-up visits will become less frequent, although Dr. Small is always willing to answer questions in between office visits.


lower stomach pouch after tummy tuck

Immediately after tummy tuck surgery, patients are likely to see a difference in the look and projection of their abdomen. However, it may not resemble the flat tummy they expected. Over the following few days, they may grow concerned when the tummy does not flatten and maybe even appears more protruded than after surgery. Reassuring patients that the tummy takes time to heal can help, but also frustrate them because there is nothing to do but wait. When does the tummy become flat after tummy tuck?

The amount of time it takes for the abdomen to heal and the final results come in varies from patient to patient. Typically, within three to four months, patients should have little visible swelling left. Yet, it can take a full year for their final results to totally come in. Swelling is often the main culprit of why the tummy may not look flat during recovery. As this resolves, the tummy will begin to show it’s new shape.

Additionally, the skin, muscles, and fat of the abdomen were all repaired or altered during the procedure. These structures need time to heal and settle into their new positions. This causes inflammation, swelling, and other temporary side effects that can contribute to the look of the stomach. Ultrasound massages can help resolve swelling and fluid build up. Generally, patients should see their flat tummy emerge within three to six months, though it may take as long as a year.

Depending on your starting anatomy, a truly flat stomach may not be possible. However, Dr. Sajan will discuss this with you before surgery and it is fairly rare. To schedule a consultation, give us a call at 206-209-0988. You can also reach out online via Price Simulator®, chat, or contact form.

tummy tuck complications years later

Abdominoplasty—sometimes called “tummy tuck”—has a higher risk of major complications than other cosmetic plastic surgery procedures, reports a study in the November issue of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery®, the official medical journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS).

Complication risk is particularly high for the large proportion of patients undergoing abdominoplasty in combination with other procedures, according to an analysis of nationwide data by Dr. Julian Winocour of Vanderbilt University, Nashville, and colleagues. They write, “Combined procedures can significantly increase complication rates and should be considered carefully in higher-risk patients.”

Database Shows High Risk of Major Complications after Abdominoplasty

The researchers assessed abdominoplasty complication rates and risk factors using the nationwide CosmetAssure database. CosmetAssure is an insurance program providing coverage for complications related to cosmetic plastic surgery procedures, which are typically not covered by health insurance.

The study included nearly 25,000 abdominoplasties performed between 2008 and 2013, representing about 14 percent of all procedures in the database. Abdominoplasty is done to remove excess skin and tissue from the abdomen, to create a smoother, firmer abdominal profile.

Ninety-seven percent of abdominoplasty patients were women; the average age was 42 years. Sixty-five percent of patients underwent abdominoplasty combined with other cosmetic surgery procedures.

Overall, major complications occurred in four percent of patients undergoing abdominoplasty—significantly higher than the 1.4 percent rate after other cosmetic surgery procedures. (The database didn’t include less-serious complications that can be managed in the clinic). Hematomas (blood collections) were the most common major complication, followed by infections, blood clots (venous thromboembolism), and lung-related problems.

Combined procedures were a key risk factor for complications. Compared to the 3.1 percent rate with abdominoplasty alone, risk increased when abdominoplasty was combined with other procedures: up to 10.4 percent when abdominoplasty was combined with body contouring plus liposuction. After adjustment for other factors, the relative risk of major complications was 50 percent higher with combined procedures.

Other risk factors for major complications included male sex, age 55 years or older, and obesity. Risk was lower when abdominoplasty was performed in an office-based surgical suite, compared to a hospital or surgical center. Dr. Winocour comments, “Surgeons often refer patients with major illnesses, such as heart disease, to hospitals, which may be responsible for this observed trend in complications.”

Diabetes and smoking—two major surgical risk factors—were not associated with a significant increase in complications after abdominoplasty. “That likely reflected Board-certified plastic surgeons’ practice of not offering abdominoplasty to poorly controlled diabetics and recommending strict smoking cessation for at least four weeks before and after surgery,” Dr. Wincour adds.

Abdominoplasty is the sixth most common cosmetic surgical procedure performed in the United States, with more than 117,000 procedures performed in 2014, according to ASPS statistics. The number of abdominoplasties has increased in recent years—partly because of the increased number of patients undergoing body contouring surgery to remove excess skin and tissue after massive weight loss.

The study adds to previous evidence that abdominoplasty carries a higher complication rate than other cosmetic plastic surgery procedures. “Although the overall incidence of major complications is low, such complications can leave a potentially devastating cosmetic outcome and pose a significant financial burden on the patient and surgeon,” the researchers write.

They draw special attention to the risk associated with multiple procedures—especially since nearly two-thirds of patients in the database underwent other cosmetic procedures combined with abdominoplasty. Dr. Winocour and colleagues suggest that some patients at high risk of complications might be better off undergoing staged rather than combination procedures.

Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery® is published by Wolters Kluwer.

About Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery

For over 75 years, Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery® has been the one consistently excellent reference for every specialist who uses plastic surgery techniques or works in conjunction with a plastic surgeon. The official journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery® brings subscribers up-to-the-minute reports on the latest techniques and follow-up for all areas of plastic and reconstructive surgery, including breast reconstruction, experimental studies, maxillofacial reconstruction, hand and microsurgery, burn repair and cosmetic surgery, as well as news on medico-legal issues.

About ASPS

The American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) is the largest organization of board-certified plastic surgeons in the world. Representing more than 11,000 physician members worldwide, the society is recognized as a leading authority and information source on cosmetic and reconstructive plastic surgery. ASPS comprises more than 92 percent of all board-certified plastic surgeons in the United States. Founded in 1931, the society represents physicians certified by The American Board of Plastic Surgery or The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada.

About Wolters Kluwer

Wolters Kluwer (WKL) is a global leader in professional information, software solutions and services for the clinicians, nurses, accountants, lawyers and tax, finance, audit, risk, compliance and regulatory sectors. We help our customers make critical decisions every day by providing expert solutions that combine deep domain knowledge with advanced technology and services.

Wolters Kluwer reported 2020 annual revenues of €4.6 billion. The group serves customers in over 180 countries, maintains operations in over 40 countries, and employs approximately 19,200 people worldwide. The company is headquartered in Alphen aan den Rijn, the Netherlands.

Wolters Kluwer provides trusted clinical technology and evidence-based solutions that engage clinicians, patients, researchers and students in effective decision-making and outcomes across healthcare. We support clinical effectiveness, learning and research, clinical surveillance and compliance, as well as data solutions. For more information about our solutions, visit https://www.wolterskluwer.com/en/health and follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter @WKHealth.

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