Abdominoplasty Risks and complications


General anaesthetic operations carry a small risk related specifically to the anaesthetic.

Deep vein thrombosis (DVT)

In the context of abdominoplasty surgery, the risk related to deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism is higher, because of the added pressure inside the abdomen.

It is therefore very important to combine early mobilisation, anti-embolism stockings during and after the operation, as well as injections that thin the blood for at least a week or sometimes longer. If you have a family or personal history of clots in the leg veins it is important to mention it to your surgeon because a tailored treatment program can reduce the risk of these complications.


Pain after surgery is typically more significant in the first few days and quickly improves. Combining moderate and stronger pain relief medication is always helpful. Occasionally long term or chronic pain can occur after surgery of any type. This is related to the response of the body to injury, and may require specialist treatment to improve.


Wound infections are a well understood complication of surgery, but they are fortunately relatively rare in the context of abdominoplasty interventions. It is important to appreciate that antibiotics do not eliminate the risk of infection and if you have any doubts regarding this you should discuss with your surgeon promptly.

Some statistics suggest that the risk of infection increases 10 times in smokers and this is also one of the reasons why smoking needs to be stopped before and for at least a month after the operation. In addition, smoking increases the chance of permanent damage to areas of the lower abdominal skin.


The scars after surgery can take many months to settle and on occasion may become red, raised and lumpy also known as hypertrophic or keloid scars. Such scars benefit from intervention and it is important to bring these problems to the attention of your surgeon early, as prompt intervention can speed up recovery.

In the lateral parts of the scar it is possible for some of the skin to look raised after the operation, and if this happens an adjustment after a few months may be needed to achieve the best result.

Fluid collection

In some instances clear fluid can accumulate under the abdominal skin following abdominoplasty, even if drains have been used. This is called a seroma, and may require drainage to settle down.

Get in touch. Talk to our helpful team or book a consultation with Mr Lucian Ion. Call 0207 486 7757

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