The Side Effects of Tummy Tuck Surgery By Stuart Baker on April 17, 2015

A woman's lower bodyThe Center for Cosmetic Medicine has helped countless patients in the greater Decatur area achieve slimmer and trimmer frames thanks to tummy tuck surgery. Tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) tightens the stomach area and removes stretchmarks, helping patients look trimmer, slimmer, and better toned. We'd like to use this blog post to focus on the most common side effects that patients experience after they have undergone tummy tuck surgery.

Pain and Discomfort

Pain and discomfort are both very common following any kind of surgery, particularly a major body contouring procedure such as tummy tuck. In order to reduce pain and discomfort, using recommended pain medications is ideal. It's also important to get ample rest as you recover from surgery as this will help speed up the overall healing process.

Bruising After Tummy Tuck

Bruising is also a common side effect that tummy tuck patients will experience after the surgery has been performed. It's to be expected after any sort of surgery. The bruises should fade significantly by the end of the first week to two weeks. It's recommended that patients walk around a bit as they recover to improve/promote circulation as this can help with reducing the post-surgical bruising.

Swelling and Redness

Both swelling and redness around the abdominal area will occur as a natural response to surgery. Like the bruising, the redness and other discoloration will fade as the healing process continues. The swelling after tummy tuck can last for some time, though most of the swelling experienced after surgery will have gone down by the end of the first month. Wearing your compression garment as recommended will generally help reduce the amount of post-surgical swelling that you experience.

Discharge from Drainage Tubes

After you undergo tummy tuck surgery, drainage tubes will be placed in order to prevent the accumulation of excessive fluid in the abdominal area. This prevents serious complications and improves your overall healing experience. Drainage from the tubes is to be expected, and the discharge will typically be a pinkish clear color. The tubes are typically drained around every six hours. Drainage tubes will usually be removed by the end of two weeks.

Monitoring the fluid color and volume is a crucial part of the healing process. If you should notice any problems with the color or amount of fluid that is drained, be sure to contact your plastic surgeon about this matter.

Tingling and Numbness

In the weeks after tummy tuck surgery, some patients notice some tingling or numbness in their abdominal area, particularly where the incision sites are located. This is a normal side effect that is part of the healing process, and you should notice these issues become less of a problem as the months go by and your body continues to recover.

Post-Surgical Scarring

Scarring is a given following any sort of surgery, and many patients have concerns about scarring after tummy tuck given how large the incisions are. While the scars will fade to a certain degree, they will not completely fade away. The look of the scar after your tummy tuck will depend on your genetics and the nature of your skin. The scars will generally be concealed by bathing suits and undergarments, however.

Learn More About Tummy Tuck Surgery and Body Contouring

If you would like to learn more about tummy tuck surgery and how it can help you look your very best, be sure to contact our cosmetic skin care and plastic surgery center today. We at The Center for Cosmetic Medicine look forward to your visit and helping you achieve the all of your aesthetic goals.

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Dr. Stuart Baker

The Center for Cosmetic Medicine

Dr. Stuart Baker is a board-certified plastic surgeon with decades of experience. He has been recognized as a "master injector" by Allergan, the maker of BOTOX® Cosmetic and JUVÉDERM® products, for excellent patient outcomes. In addition to being a skilled plastic surgeon, he is also an orthopedic hand surgery specialist. His prestigious affiliations include:

  • American Society of Plastic Surgeons — ASPS 
  • American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery — ASAPS 
  • American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery — AACS 
  • American Medical Association — AMA 

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