Of course, as with any surgery under anesthesia, there are risks that primarily are the sole responsibility of the anesthetic. Please see our Anesthesia Section for more information.
here are more risks with Abdominoplasty due to the fat and its surrounding tissues becoming necrotic (dead tissue). If the fat becomes necrotic from lack of blood supply, the fat tends to turn orange-ish clear and a little may drain from the incision. Although this is very normal to have fluid this color drain from the incision. There will be fat damage, there will be fluid retention, and there will be blood-tinted drainage.
If the tissue becomes necrotic, or you have a massive die off of fat cells that's a completely different story. You must have the tissue removed before a major infection develops, possibly causing gangrene. This is extremely rare and taking precautions can certainly make a difference. Such as not smoking, proper wound care and proper surgeon selection with a sterile, accredited surgical suite or accredited hospital.
Sometimes Liposuction is part of the Abdominoplasty procedure. Even with the ultrasonic technique, patients have been known to receive actual burns from the ultrasonic technique. The fat is actually melted within the body by 'exciting' the fat molecules with high frequency radio waves and is suctioned out. There may be asymmetry, hyperpigmentation (permanent dark spots) from the bruising. Major blood loss is a factor is some cases. As is hematoma and infection. Just remember, Abdominoplasty or Liposuction is NOT the way to lose weight.
Another risk of Abdominoplasty is pulmonary Thromboemboli. A thromboebolus is a blood clot and this blood clot can break free and travel to the lungs resulting in pulmonary Thromboemboli. This can put a patient into adult breathing distress and subsequently into cardiac arrest or coma -- leading to the patient becoming 'brain dead' shortly thereafter or in a vegetative state from loss of oxygen to the brain. Pulmonary Thromboemboli can happen within three (3) weeks of the surgery but will most likely show symptoms of shortness of breath and fatigue within the first 72 hours. However, pulmonary Thromboemboli can occur suddenly, without warning. Most patients with P.E. collapse and begin rapid deterioration after attempting to climb a flight of stairs. Please see our Abdominoplasty Risks Section for more information.