A collection of blood (known as a haematoma) or body fluid (seroma) can build up underneath the skin. Any collection can often be treated using a needle and syringe. Rarely, a return to the operating theatre is needed.
Poor healing leading to wound breakdown and skin loss can occur. Although scars will often become a little red, raised and lumpy over the first three months following surgery, this usually settles to a white line. However, on occasions the changes in the scar may persist and need treatment. Rarely, the position of the tummy button may seem off–centre. Having said that, studies have shown that after bearing children the position of the tummy button can be any point within four centimetres of the central point of the tummy (abdomen).
The scar can sometimes develop small but pointed bulges at either end of the wound. These areas, which plastic surgeons call ‘dog ears’, usually settle down without any intervention. However, out-patient minor surgery under a local anaesthetic is occasionally needed to correct the problem.
Other risks include bleeding, wound infection and chest infection, although these are uncommon. Finally, a rare but serious complication is the development of blood clots in the leg (known as a deep vein thrombosis), which can travel to the lungs causing a pulmonary embolism and this can be fatal.