While a tummy tuck can be a confidence booster for anyone struggling with the appearance of their midsection, the procedure does come with various risks associated with a surgical procedure. I often meet with prospective tummy tuck patients at our Portland practice who are excited about the results the surgery can achieve for them—but are nervous about experiencing potential difficulties.
The tummy tuck procedure does carry some risks. It is a significant surgery, therefore associated with a higher rate of complications, specifically issues related to the formation of blood clots. However, heightened awareness around this issue in recent years has led to extensive research and the development of preventive measures designed to enhance patient safety.
In this blog post, I’ll review a few reasons patients can now feel even more secure in their decision to undergo abdominoplasty.
The pre-operative protocol has changed in significant ways as surgeons have learned more about what accelerates the recovery process. We now stress the importance of staying hydrated with electrolytes the night before and the day of surgery. We also commonly provide anti-inflammatory medications for patients to take before the surgery as a jump start on the healing process. Some surgeons have found that personalized diet and exercise plans help tummy tuck patients enjoy a smoother recovery. All of these approaches have proven to be beneficial for an uneventful, effective recovery period.
While notable amounts of opioid pain killers were once necessary to ease the discomfort patients felt after surgery, many surgeons are now injecting long-lasting numbing agents into the surgical site. These block discomfort for up to 3 days, reducing the need for pain relief medications. With the lower medication use comes fewer side effects, allowing patients to get up and walk around sooner. This decreases the risk of blood clots. The use of compression garments and prescription of blood thinners can also lower the risk.
A major precaution that surgeons can take to diminish the likelihood of complications is to make sure each tummy tuck patient is an ideal candidate. This sometimes includes screening patients for their probability of developing blood clots and making sure patients have sustained a stable weight before the procedure. It’s also important to check that the patient’s immune system is healthy and that they have not used nicotine for at least 4 weeks leading up to the surgery.
As a patient, you can be proactive by discussing any concerns and worries with your surgeon. Together, you can develop the best possible treatment plan to avoid potential complications. When your surgeon provides you with pre- and post-op instructions, following them closely and carefully will greatly bolster your recovery process and help your procedure go smoothly.
Our team of board-certified plastic surgeons takes great care to keep our patients safe and comfortable. Our goal is to provide an exceptionally pleasant experience as we work to deliver the results you have been dreaming about.
If you’re interested in learning more about tummy tuck surgery in Portland, please contact us online or call (503) 292-9200 to request a consultation.