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Risks associated with tummy tuck surgery

Risks associated with tummy tuck surgery

A common form of plastic surgery, alongside procedures such as breast augmentation and liposuction, is the tummy tuck. The procedure is also known, more formally, as an abdominoplasty, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons explained. Much like other forms of surgery, there are risks with this kind of procedure, the Mayo Clinic detailed. This article will take a look at several of the major risks, before explaining why single-use tools can be an effective method for reducing the likelihood of cross-contamination and surgical site infections.

A closer look at tummy tucks
As detailed by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, a tummy tuck is a procedure designed to make the appearance of the abdomen firmer and less rounded. This is achieved through the removal of areas of sagging skin that contribute to a fuller look. Excess fat is also often removed during a tummy tucks. The remaining skin is then pulled up and the area is tightened and sewed back together.

Patients typically elect to undergo tummy tuck surgery for cosmetic reasons. Patients who have previously lost a significant amount of weight also often opt to have tummy tucks to remove any excessive, hanging skin.

According to Live Science, reporting on a study from the American Academy of Plastic Surgeons, tummy tucks are a common procedure – in their survey it was revealed that abdominoplastys chart near the top of a list of common cosmetic operations, landing in sixth place. 

Common risks
Despite being common and enjoying relatively high success rates, there are still risks associated with tummy tuck surgery that both patients and health care providers should be mindful of. In fact, as reported by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, a study from researchers at Vanderbilt University in Nashville found that the risk of tummy tucks surgery can be higher than with other cosmetic procedures, particularly when tummy tucks are performed in conjunction other surgeries. Researchers found that the risk to patients for complications during most cosmetic procedures stands at a little over 1 percent. For tummy tucks, however, the scientists found the risk to be much higher, standing at around 4 percent.

Some of the most likely issues to arise after tummy tuck surgery include:

1. The inability of wounds to heal properly
As explained by the Mayo Clinic, it is possible for the surgical site to struggle to heal completely, and there is the risk of the surgical scar separating.

2. Skin sensation changes
Given that tummy tucks involve the removal and repositioning of skin, there is the risk that nerves in the area may become damaged. As detailed by Healthline, this can lead to tingling or a loss of sensation in the area altogether. The Mayo Clinic noted that the changes in sensation are rarely permanent. 

3. Scarring and bruising
All tummy tuck patients will be left with a scar where the surgery took place, the Mayo Clinic noted. The appearance of the scar may be more prominent in some patients than others, however. Furthermore, according to Healthline, bruising and hematomas are also common yet relatively benign complications.

Surgical site infections are a risk associated with all surgical procedures, including tummy tucks. Surgical site infections are a risk associated with all surgical procedures, including tummy tucks.

4. Surgical site infections
There is a small yet notable risk of patients developing surgical site infections after a tummy tuck. As explained by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, surgical site infections can range in severity, with some infections being so advanced that they attack deep into the body tissues of the patient, while others can be mild to the point that they only impact the outer layer of the skin itself. SSIs occur when bacteria enters the wound created by surgical intervention. Antibiotics are typically used to treat SSIs.

Single-use tools can help
Although it is difficult to eliminate the risk of post-surgical complications entirely, health care providers can take proactive steps to minimize the risk of infection. Alongside conventional infection control strategies health care providers should consider introducing single-use tools into their practices if they haven't done so already. Single-use tools, such as the range on offer from OBP Medical, remove the risk of cross-contamination between patients, as they are used only one time before being thrown away.

The Single-Use Cordless Surgical Retractor with Integrated LED Light Source from OBP Medical, for example, is a cost-efficient and safe instrument, powered by a safe to use LED light source. To request a free sample and learn more about the tools on offer from OBP Medical, click here.