Some risks of tummy tuck surgery include infection, skin loss, cosmetic problems from scarring, numbness and deep vein thrombosis, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. Other problems that may arise include asymmetry, persistent pain, poor healing, bleeding and prolonged swelling. There are additional risks associated with the anesthesia.
Because there are so many risks associated with tummy tuck surgery, the patient must thoroughly discuss the procedure and risks with the surgeon, then sign a consent form before undergoing the surgery, explains the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. To minimize risk, only certain individuals are candidates for the procedure. Generally, plastic surgeons are only willing to perform tummy tucks on patients who do not smoke and who are physically healthy. It should be established that the patient has realistic expectations about the outcome of the procedure. Patients with plans to lose a significant amount of weight in the future are also not good candidates for tummy tucks, according to WebMD.
The medical term for a tummy tuck is abdominoplasty, notes WebMD. The purpose of the procedure is to achieve a flatter stomach through removal of excess fat and skin and tightening of the abdominal wall muscles. Abdominoplasty is different than liposuction, which involves suctioning fat out of the body, but patients sometimes opt to undergo both a tummy tuck and liposuction to achieve their aesthetic goals.