Abdominoplasty - Learn about Recovery period and possible complications following tummy tuck.
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Hello! My name is Adrian Richards and I'm a plastic and cosmetic surgeon and today I am going to be talking about the recovery period and possible complications associated with tummy tuck surgery. So it's important to realize that tummy tuck surgery, also called abdominoplasty surgery, is a significant procedure. It's probably one of the larger procedures we carry out as a plastic surgeons. So what sort of recovery period can you expect? Well, it really depends on what sort of tummy tuck you've had. I've talked in other videos about different types of tummy tucks ranging from scar revisions through mini tummy tucks to full abdominoplasties. Okay, so recovery period essentially depends quite a lot on whether you have had your muscles repaired. If you've had your muscles repaired, because they have been brought together, your tummy wall has been tightened, you will take longer to recover, because it's sore, it feels like you have done -- you ever done too many sit ups, it feels like that but for a prolonged period of time. We will normally say to most patients they will need to take two weeks off work. If you have got children don't lift them up for at least a week. You need someone looking after you for that first week. You can probably return to work, normally after two weeks but really six weeks off any physical exercise, gym or anything that's going to involve the tummy. So every person's recovery is different but if you had a tummy tuck with muscle repair you really need to be thinking recovery a bit like a cesarean, so that's six weeks off any physical exercise, okay. Now how to heal it. What are the complications for this operation? Every operation does have complications and it's important to discuss these freely and openly with your surgeon, because you need to be aware of these before you embark on this form of surgery. So I'm going to run through them starting with ones that tend to appear early and ones that tend to appear late, but the early ones which normally would be around the operation time are ones that are to do with the operation itself. So you can get problems with the anaesthetic and you need normally to have a very thorough pre-operative assessment with the ECGs, blood tests and all those things to check that you're fit and healthy before the operation. So with modern anaesthesia these risks are very, very uncommon. There are very low incident, but you need to have a full assessment first, very important. Second thing you can get in the early postoperative period is bleeding as in any operation, this is very, very rare with tummy tuck surgery, but if you did get any bleeding, if a blood vessel opened up in the area that had been treated, you would need to go back to the operating theater and the surgeon would need to stop that bleeding. So it's not normally a long term problem, it's a bit annoying and set you back a little bit, but in the long term not normally too much of a problem. Okay, the problem you can get from the abdominoplasty is called seroma, and a seroma is basically a collection of your body fluids in the cavity created by the tummy tuck. So the surgeon has to remove this amount of tissue which leads in traditional tummy tucks, a potential cavity and your body will tend to form fluid, and if it does this fluid will collect in what's called a seroma which is a collection of fluid in your tummy area. If you get this, if it's a moderate one normally your body will absorb it, but if it's a significant size over sort of in a 20 or 30 mils, we would normally arrange for an ultrasound to assess the seroma and then aspiration of the seroma which is done under ultrasound guided control nowadays, and the fluid is drawn off. You may need this done two or three occasions. So the technique I've been using really to reduce the risk of seromas is actually to obliterate this potential cavity in the tummy for fluid to collect by placation sutures and in this technique the cavity is actually closed with a num