The tummy tuck procedure is a surgical procedure to remove excess fat and skin from the abdominal area, tighten and contour the muscles of the abdomen, and improve the appearance of scarring from previous surgeries. The tummy tuck procedure is often combined with liposuction, which involves removing excess fat cells from areas like the buttocks and thighs.
As part of this procedure, surgeons make an incision around your waistline, remove the excess skin and fat in that area, tighten and reposition the muscles of your abdomen, and close up all layers of skin. This operation can be performed on both men and women. It’s often recommended for people who have lost a lot of weight quickly but still have loose skin or stretch marks from previous pregnancies.
You may find it hard to access the right information on the internet, so we are here to help you in the following article, providing the best and updated information on How do they do a tummy tuck, tummy tuck risks of death. Read on to learn more. We at cosmeticsurgerytips have all the information that you need about tummy tuck complications years later. Read on to learn more.
How do they do a tummy tuck
Abdominoplasty (also called a “tummy tuck”) and liposuction are two different surgical procedures that aim to change the appearance of your midsection. Both procedures claim to make your stomach appear flatter, tighter, and smaller. They’re both performed by plastic surgeons, and are considered “cosmetic,” so they aren’t covered by health insurance.
In terms of the actual procedure, recovery time, and risks, there are some key differences between the two. Keep reading to learn more.
Who is a good candidate?
Liposuction and tummy tucks often appeal to people with similar cosmetic goals. But there are some important differences.
Liposuction may be a good fit if you’re looking to remove small fat deposits. These are commonly found on the hips, thighs, buttocks, or stomach area.
The procedure will remove fat deposits from the targeted area, reducing bulges and improving contour. However, liposuction isn’t recommended as a weight loss tool. You shouldn’t get liposuction if you’re obese.
In addition to removing excess fat from the abdomen, a tummy tuck also removes excess skin.
Pregnancy or significant shifts in your weight can stretch out the skin that surrounds your stomach. A tummy tuck can be used to restore the look of a flat and contoured midsection. This procedure may involve bringing the rectus abdominus, or sit-up muscles, back together if they’ve been stretched or separated by pregnancy.
You may want to reconsider a tummy tuck if:
- your body mass index is over 30
- you’re considering getting pregnant in the future
- you’re actively trying to lose weight
- you have a chronic heart condition
What is the procedure like?
Liposuctions and tummy tucks are both performed by a plastic surgeon and require incisions and anesthesia.
You may be intravenously sedated for this procedure. In some cases, your surgeon will apply a local anesthetic to your midsection.
Once the area is numb, your surgeon will make small incisions around the site of your fat deposits. A thin tube (cannula) will be moved underneath your skin to loosen the fat cells. Your surgeon will use a medical vacuum to suction out the dislodged fat deposits.
It may take several sessions to achieve your desired result.
Your surgeon will put you to sleep via general anesthesia. After you’re sedated, they’ll make an incision at the bottom of the skin that covers your abdominal wall.
Once the muscles are exposed, your surgeon will sew the muscles in your abdominal wall together if they have become stretched out. They will then pull tight the skin over your abdomen, trim off excess skin, and close the incision with sutures.
A tummy tuck is done in one procedure. The entire surgery typically takes two to three hours.
What are the expected results?
Although liposuction and a tummy tuck both claim permanent results, significant weight gain after either procedure can alter this outcome.
People that have liposuction on their abdomen tend to see a flatter, more proportioned midsection once they have recovered from the procedure. These results are supposed to be permanent. But at least one studyTrusted Source disagrees. According to this study, up to a year after the procedure, the fat deposits reappear, though they may show up elsewhere on your body. If you gain weight, fat will reaccumulate in your body, though not typically in the areas that were suctioned.
After a tummy tuck, the results are considered permanent. Your abdominal wall will be more stable and strong. The excess skin that has been removed won’t return unless fluctuation in weight or a subsequent pregnancy stretches out the area again.
What are the possible complications?
Although there are side effects associated with any surgery, each procedure poses different risks that you should be aware of.
With liposuction, your risk of complication increases if your surgeon is working on a large area. Performing multiple procedures during the same operation can also increase your risk.
Possible risks include:
- Numbness. You may feel numbness in the affected area. Although this is often temporary, it may become permanent.
- Contour irregularities. Sometimes the fat that’s removed creates a wavy or jagged impression on the top layer of your skin. This can make the skin appear less smooth.
- Fluid accumulation. Seromas — temporary pockets of fluid — may form under the skin. Your doctor will need to drain these.
Rare risks include:
- Infection. Infections may occur at the site of your liposuction incision.
- Internal organ puncture. If the cannula penetrates too deeply, it may puncture an organ.
- Fat embolism. An embolism occurs when a loosened piece of fat breaks away, becomes trapped in a blood vessel, and travels to the lungs or brain.
Tummy tucks have been shown to carry more complication risks than some other cosmetic procedures.
In one study, 8.5 percentTrusted Source of people who had a tummy tuck needed to return to the hospital because of some kind of complication. Wound complications and infections were among the most common reasons for readmission.
Other possible risks include:
- Changes in sensation. Repositioning your abdominal tissue may affect the superficial sensory nerves in this area, as well as in your upper thighs. You may feel numbness in these areas.
- Fluid accumulation. As with liposuction, temporary pockets of fluid may form under the skin. Your doctor will need to drain these.
- Tissue necrosis. In some cases, fatty tissue deep within the abdominal area may get damaged. Tissue that doesn’t heal or dies must be removed by your surgeon.
What’s the recovery process like?
The recovery process is also different for each procedure.
Your recovery process will depend on how many areas were operated on, and whether additional liposuction sessions are needed.
After the procedure, you may experience:
- swelling at the site of your fat removal
- draining and bleeding at the site of your incision
Your surgeon may recommend that you wear a compression garment to help reduce swelling and help your skin heal smoothly over your new shape.
Because liposuction is an outpatient procedure, regular activity can be resumed fairly quickly. You should be able to do anything you usually do within the next 48 hours.
However, you should hold off on heavy weight lifting and extensive cardio until you’ve gotten approval from your doctor.
When you wake up, your incision will be covered in surgical dressing, which will need to be changed several times. Your surgeon will also provide you with a compression garment or “belly binder.”
Within one day, you should be up and walking (with assistance) to prevent the formation of blood clots. You’ll likely be taking prescription pain relievers and antibiotics to help ease any discomfort and reduce your risk of infection.
Surgical drains may also be in place for up to two weeks.
It takes six weeks for the initial recovery phase of a tummy tuck to pass, and you’ll need several follow-up appointments with your doctor to check on how your incision is healing. During this time, you should avoid any position that involves abdominal extension or bending backwards, which may pull or place too much tension on the incision.
You should also hold off on any strenuous physical activity or exercise until you get your doctor’s approval.
The bottom line
Although liposuction and tummy tucks both aim to improve the appearance of your midsection, these procedures are markedly different in their promised result and the way they work.
Liposuction is a straightforward procedure that carries little risk or recovery downtime. A tummy tuck is considered a more serious operation. Your doctor or potential surgeon will be your best resource in determining which procedure may be right for you.
Tummy tuck risks of death
Abdominoplasty alone is considered a “major” surgical procedure in terms of risk and impact on normal homeostasis. Relative to other aesthetic surgical procedures, it is associated with higher rates of morbidity and morality, although with lower rates when compared with such reconstructive procedures as craniofacial surgery. According to Grazer and Goldwyn, it carries a mortality rate of 1:617 (.16 percent). about the same as that of hang gliding (1:600). A recent survey reported a rate as 1:2324 (.04 percent). The implication is that abdominoplasty has a significant and definable mortality risk associated with it; therefore, any additional procedure added to an abdominoplasty with further risk should caution the surgeon to minimize adverse outcomes before proceeding. Since not operating incurs no medical hardships, any further risks imposed by liposuction must be weighed by the physician and patient against potential gains.
Another Abdominoplasty Study Showing a 20% Blood Transfusion Rate!
Department of Plastic Surgery, Queen Mary’s Hospital, London
A 6-year retrospective series of 133 abdominoplasties was studied and type and incidence of complications are presented. From this series a group of 34 patients was re-examined between 4 and 10 1/2 years postoperatively and conclusions were made from this long-term follow-up. A high incidence of injury to the lateral cutaneous nerve of the thigh was recorded. A blood transfusion was required in 19% of the cases, the average hospitalization was 12.4 days and the complication rate ranged between 24% in those who did not attend review and 65% in those who were re-examined. Objectively judged, 55% of the patients had excellent or good results, but subjective patient satisfaction was nearly 90%.
A Safer Alternative
We recommend instead the Yoho Method “No Scalpel Tummy Tuck”, done with liposuction, which in most cases gives you a much better result with skin shrinkage and almost no scarring. If you are indeed a tummy tuck candidate, we will tell you. For more information, read “Liposuction vs. Tummy Tucks”.
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.
The American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) is the largest organization of board-certified plastic surgeons in the world. Representing more than 7,000 physician members, the society is recognized as a leading authority and information source on cosmetic and reconstructive plastic surgery. ASPS comprises more than 93 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.