21st Dec 2016

Tummy tuckPatients who undergo any surgery are susceptible to potential infections, and the tummy tuck is not an exception. The tummy tuck procedure involves the creation of an incision, which can lead to a collection of fluids at the surgical site, making you vulnerable to infections. This is the reason why many plastic surgeons prescribe antibiotics to their patients after the tummy tuck procedure.

Even though the number of infections resulting from tummy tucks remains very low, the use of antibiotics after the procedure has increased over the last decade. Taking antibiotics after a tummy tuck has been a topic of debate among plastic surgeons for many years.

The trend of taking antibiotics after tummy tuck surgery has gained momentum most likely due to plastic surgeons’ desire to prevent any potential legal difficulties. However, some surgeons discourage the use of antibiotics after a tummy tuck. Whether your plastic surgeon administers an antibiotic after a tummy tuck depends on how he or she analyzes the risks and benefits associated with the procedure.

Antibiotics are used throughout the world against infections after proper diagnosis. Since it has been established that antibiotics can also prevent potential infections, most plastic surgeons prescribe some type of antibiotic to their patients after a tummy tuck. The majority of tummy tuck surgeries are clean and involve no internal contagion, but plastic surgeons still recommend the use of antibiotics after the procedure.

Unclean surgical cases are those that involve a disruption in the surgical procedure, exposure of the incision to dirty fluids, or tenderness at the surgical site. It is also important to note that your stay in the hospital doubles your risk of contracting infections, making antibiotics even more important for you.  

There are a number of factors that can make you more susceptible to infections during or after a tummy tuck, including age, diabetes, bad diet, obesity, severe swelling, lifestyle, smoking and drinking, steroid use, and previous exposure to radiation. If you have one of these conditions, your plastic surgeon will pay special attention to the risk of postoperative infections. Chances are, your surgeon will prescribe you antibiotics after the tummy tuck, because when you are at risk of infections, control and correction of the risk becomes the number one priority of surgeons.

Despite the fact that antibiotics can save you from potential infections after a tummy tuck, they come with their own side effects and risks. You should discuss your complete medical and lifestyle history with your plastic surgeon, so he or she can consider all the risk factors while prescribing you antibiotics. Different types of antibiotics have different side effects, so your doctor should know your complete medical history in order to recommend the safest option.

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