I perform a large number of abdominoplasties each year. It is not uncommon to deal with an umbilical hernia at the same time. The risk of blood clots exits, but with an experienced surgeon, use of intermittent calf compression boots at surgery, relatively short operative time, and early ambulation, I have not seen this complication in over twenty years. Occasional seromas and minor wound healing issues are more common. Recovery time is usually about two weeks.
I currently use a new technology (the PEAK Plasmablade) to perform the procedure with statistically documented better results (less pain, drainage, recovery time, etc.) than traditional scalpel and electrocautery. A peer reviewed paper on this will appear in the plastic surgery journal (PRS) in July, 2011.
Thanks so much for responding. I have 4 kids and I think I fear the most is dying after the surgery. I don't want take a risk that could possible leave my kids without a mother. Might be silly worrying about it. I'm suppose to see another plastic surgeon on May 4th and I will ask if they use the same procedures to prevent blood clots. Is it common for 34 y/o to have blood clots after this surgery?