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Informed Consent
ABDOMINOPLASTY - TUMMY TUCK

 

INSTRUCTIONS

This is an informed consent document that has been prepared to help your surgeon inform you of abdominoplasty surgery, its risks, as well as alternative treatments.

 

It is important that you read this information carefully and completely.  Please initial each page, indicating that you have read the page and sign the consent for surgery as proposed by your plastic surgeon.

 

INTRODUCTION

Abdominoplasty is a surgical procedure to remove excess skin and fatty tissue from the middle and lower abdomen and to tighten the muscles of the abdominal wall.  Abdominoplasty is not a surgical treatment for being overweight.  Obese individuals who intend to lose weight should postpone all forms of body contouring surgery until they have been able to maintain their weight loss.

 

There are a variety of different techniques used by plastic surgeons for abdominoplasty.  Abdominoplasty can be combined with other forms of body contouring surgery including suction assisted lipectomy or performed at the same time with other elective surgeries.

 

ALTERNATIVE TREATMENTS

Alternative forms of management consist of not treating the areas of loose skin and fatty deposits.  Suction assisted lipectomy surgery may be a surgical alternative to abdominoplasty if there is good skin tone and localized abdominal fatty deposits in an individual of normal weight.  Diet and exercise programs may be of benefit in the overall reduction of excess body fat.

 

Risks and potential complications are associated with alternative forms of treatment that involve surgery.  

 

 RISKS OF ABDOMINOPLASTY SURGERY

Every surgical procedure involves a certain amount of risk and it is important that you understand the risks involved with abdominoplasty.  An individual’s choice to undergo a surgical procedure is based on the comparison of the risk to potential benefit.  Although the majority of patients do not experience the following complications, you should discuss each of them with your plastic surgeon to make sure you understand all possible consequences of abdominoplasty.

 

BLEEDING

It is possible, though unusual, to experience a bleeding episode during or after surgery.  Should post-operative bleeding occur, it may require emergency treatment to drain accumulated blood or blood transfusion.  Do not take any aspirin, anti-inflammatory medication or herbal remedies for ten days before surgery, as this may increase the risk of bleeding.  If you are currently taking an anticoagulant medication such as Coumadin – please advise your doctor immediately.

 

INFECTION

Infection is unusual after this type of surgery.  Should an infection occur, treatment including antibiotics or additional surgery may be necessary.

 

CHANGE IN SKIN SENSATION

Diminished (or loss of) skin sensation in the lower abdominal area may not totally resolve after abdominoplasty.

 

SKIN CONTOUR IRREGULARITIES

Contour irregularities and depressions may occur after abdominoplasty.  Visible and palpable wrinkling of skin can occur.

 

SKIN SCARRING

Excessive scarring is uncommon.  In rare cases, abnormal scars may result.  Scars may be unattractive and of a different color than surrounding skin.  Additional treatments including surgery may be necessary to treat abnormal scarring.

 

ASYMMETRY

Symmetrical body appearance may not result from abdominoplasty.  Factors such as skin tone, fatty deposits, bony prominence, and muscle tone may contribute to normal asymmetry in body features.

 

DELAYED HEALING

Wound disruption or delayed wound healing is possible.  Some areas of the abdomen may not heal normally and may take a long time to heal.  Some areas of skin may die.  This may require frequent dressing changes or further surgery to remove the non-healed tissue.

 

Smokers have a greater risk of skin loss and wound healing complications.

 

ALLERGIC REACTIONS

In rare cases, local allergies to tape, suture material, or topical preparations have been reported.  Systemic reactions which are more serious may occur to drugs used during surgery and prescription medication.  Allergic reactions may require additional treatment.

 

PULMONARY COMPLICATIONS

Pulmonary complications may occur secondarily to both blood clots (pulmonary emboli) or partial collapse of the lungs after general anesthesia.  Should either of these complications occur, you may require hospitalization and additional treatment.  Pulmonary emboli can be life threatening or fatal in some circumstances.

 

SEROMA

Fluid accumulations infrequently occur in between the skin and the abdominal wall.  Should this problem occur, it may require additional procedures for drainage of fluid.

 

UMBILICUS

Malposition, scarring, unacceptable appearance or loss of the umbilicus (naval) may occur.

 

LONG TERM AFFECTS

Subsequent alterations in body contour may occur as the result of aging, weight loss, or gain, pregnancy, or other circumstances not related to abdominoplasty.

 

PAIN

Chronic pain may occur very infrequently from nerves becoming trapped in scar tissue after abdominoplasty.

 

OTHER

You may be disappointed with the results of surgery.  Infrequently, it is necessary to perform additional surgery to improve your results.

 

SURGICAL ANESTHESIA

Both local and general anesthesia involve risk.  There is the possibility of complications, injury, and even death from all forms of surgical anesthesia or sedation.

 

ADDITIONAL SURGERY NECESSARY

Should complications occur, additional surgery or other treatments may be necessary.  Even though risks and complications occur infrequently, the risks cited are particularly associated with abdominoplasty.  Other complications and risks can occur but are even more uncommon.  The practice of medicine and surgery is not an exact science.  Although good results are to be expected, there is no guarantee or warrantee expressed or implied, on the results that may be obtained.

 

HEALTH INSURANCE

Most health insurance companies exclude coverage for cosmetic surgical operations such as abdominoplasty or any complications that might occur from surgery.  Carefully review your health insurance subscriber information pamphlet.

 

FINANCIAL RESPONSIBILITIES

The cost of surgery involves several charges for the services provided.  The total includes fees charged by your doctor, the cost of surgical supplies, anesthesia, laboratory tests, and possible outpatient hospital charges depending upon where the surgery is performed. 

 

Depending on whether the cost of surgery is covered by an insurance plan, you will be responsible for necessary co-payments, deductibles, and charges not covered.  Additional costs may occur should complications develop from the surgery.  Secondary surgery or hospital surgery charges involved with revisionary surgery would also be your responsibility.

 

DISCLAIMER

Informed consent documents are used to communicate information about the proposed surgical treatment of a disease or condition along with disclosure of risks and alternative forms of treatment(s).  The informed consent process attempts to define principles of risk disclosure that should generally meet the needs of most patients in most circumstances.

 

 Informed consent documents are not intended to define or serve as the standard of medical care.  Standards of medical care are determined on the basis of all of the facts involved in an individual case and are subject to change as scientific knowledge and technology advance and as practice patterns evolve.

 

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