A. Short term complications:


Respiration has an abdominal component. Breathing is sometimes slightly impaired because patients are afraid to use their abdominal muscles. After 1-2 days, people regain confidence and this problem goes away.

Secretions can obstruct the airways, in particular with patients who smoke heavily. These secretions cannot be expectorated properly.

Low Back pain

It occurs because patients do not dare to stand and walk upright. They think the sutures are not strong enough and the wound will open. Of course, it does not't. The sutures are strong enough to walk straight from the first day

Bruising of the skin (Ecchymosis)


When blood migrates into the skin, the skin first turns blue after a day or two. Over a period of 10 days it further turns into green and finally yellow before disappearing completely. No ointments should be used to speed up this resorption of blood. They could only add a rash.

Blood collections (Haematoma)


When even more blood accumulates in the virtual spaces between subcutaneous fat and breast tissue, this is called a haematoma. They also are quite common.

Their natural course is to convert to hard nodules -over a period of weeks-, which sometimes can be felt, and trouble the patient.

They also disappear very slowly, over the course of months.

Large blood collections in a matter of hours after surgery poins to a bleeding vessel. It is very rare, but needs to be addressed immediately. The incision is reopened, the implant removed and the bleeding vessel identified and coagulated. The breast is rinsed from blood clots. The implant is repositioned and the incision closed again. If done so, no untoward results occur, not even capsular fibrosis. The incidence of this complication is less than 2%.



A seroma is an accumulation of blood plasma in a pocket between subcutaneous fat and breast tissue. It can be diagnosed by its fluctuating aspect (think of water mattress) and by puncturing it, retrieving a clear yellowish and slightly viscous liquid.

Treatment is easy: either it can be evacuated in several sessions or -if painless- it will go away by itself. Seroma are not uncommon, they occur in about 5% of cases.

Death of Tissues

This occurs only in cases where the vascularization to the abdomen is impaired, such as with large scars running over the skin of the abdomen, or serious vascular problems. This risk is also augmented in case of liposuction together with a tummy-tuck.

Treatment of necrosis

It takes months to get rid of necrotic tissues and reconstructive surgery needs to be done to restore the appearance of the abdomen. If the nipple is completely necrotic, a new one has to be reconstructed with grafts.


Primary infections of the abdomen due to contamination of the tissues during surgery are extremely rare. I never saw one case.

MenuTummy tuckComplications Tummy-Tuck