What are the risks associated with abdominoplasty?
Complications following abdominoplasty are uncommon. They include blood collection under the skin (hematoma), infection, and delayed healing due to skin loss at the incision site. Treatment of a hematoma usually requires another short procedure on the same day as surgery. This does not affect the recovery process or the final result. Other problems usually resolve without further surgery although skin loss sometimes requires a touch-up procedure later.
A more significant potential problem is the development of leg vein clots (deep venous thrombosis or DVT) that can lead to serious problems such as pulmonary embolism. While very rare, risk factors include age over 40, being overweight, and a previous history of clotting problems. Compression calf boots pump blood through the legs during surgery to reduce risk, as does early ambulation. An anticoagulant may be given on the day after surgery to further reduce risk. Fortunately, the vast majority of patients do not have any complications from abdominoplasty surgery.