Tummy tuck risks and complications

Hundreds of tummy tuck surgeries are performed successfully every year. But as with all other plastic surgeries there is a big risk of complications. Other than general risks of complications, described under general risks, there are specific risks for this procedure.

You can read more about the specific risks of tymmy tuck surgery on this page.

Blood clot

One of the most rare complications is blood clotting, which can be very serious. Risk patients are given preventive medicine against this, and moving as soon as possible after a tummy tuck surgery minimises the risk of blood clots.

Sensitivity changes

A tummy tuck surgery involves cutting right through the skin nerves in the stomach area. This affects the sensitivity in the area and the patient experiences numbness. This mainly concerns the area above and in connection with the scar.

Generally the sensitivity recovers completely after 6-12 months but in some cases decreased sensitivity can be permanent.


The skin that is loosened from the abdominal wall normally heels onto the base in conjunction with the rest of the healing process. In some cases this lapse is affected by pus (seroma) accumulating between the skin and the abdominal wall. Smaller amounts of such fluid the body will take care of but if greater amounts are accumulated is may need to be sucked out.

Using compression garments (a stomach girdle) after your tummy tuck minimises the risk of this occurring.


You will be left with a permanent scar across the abdomen following your tummy tuck. The scar is placed low so that it is hidden by underwear and swimwear. It will however never disappear completely.

There is risk of the incision surface healing poorly with a more or less unattractive scar as a result. It may need corrective plastic surgery, a so called, scar revision reconstructive plastic surgery.

To learn more about how you are to care for your surgical scars after your tummy tuck in order for them to heal properly visit the information page about scars (coming soon).

Further tummy tuck risks

Infections when present are treated with antibiotics and when necessary drainage is inserted under the skin.

Poor wound healing can occur resulting in visible scars which in some cases present the need for additional surgery, called scar revision reconstructive plastic surgery.

You minimise the risk of complications by thoroughly following the instructions, given to you by the plastic surgeon, both before and after your tummy tuck. This especially applies to restrictions surrounding smoking and physical activities prior to your plastic surgery and the importance of being in good physical condition and health at the time of surgery.

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