Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty)
An abdominoplasty or tummy tuck is a procedure that removes excess lower abdominal skin and fat and at the same time repositions the belly button. In addition an abdominoplasty allows the tightening or reinforcement of weak tummy wall muscles. A mini-tummy tuck is similar but only excises lower abdominal skin and fat where there is no excess or loose skin above the belly button. At the same time patients often choose to have contouring liposuction as well as liposuction to the flanks (’love handles!’). Your procedure can also include mons pubis reduction as if this area is bulky it can detract from the final result.
There are different types of tummy tuck. For a mini-tummy tuck a large incision is made across the lower abdomen. The skin is then separated from the abdominal wall and excess fat and skin is cut away. The remaining skin is then pulled together and stitched.
For a full tummy tuck two incisions are made. The first is across the lower abdomen, just above the pubic area. A second incision is made to free the belly button from the tissue that surrounds it, and separate the skin from the abdominal wall. The abdominal muscles are then pulled down and stitched into their new position. Fat deposits are removed and excess skin is cut away. A new hole is cut for the belly button and it is stitched back into place. The remaining skin is then pulled down and stitched together.
After surgery pillows are placed under your knees and the head of the bed elevated to take the tension from your abdomen. Usually you will usually need to stay in hospital for at least one night. If dissolvable stitches are not used then the stitches will be removed after seven to fourteen days. You may need to walk with a stooped posture for about a week and it will take on average, two weeks for the wounds to heal. A supporting corset needs to be worn for a few weeks. You will be encouraged to walk as soon as possible after the surgery and should be able to resume physical activity after six to eight weeks.
What is tummy tuck surgery/abdominoplasty?
Tummy tuck surgery or abdominoplasty involves the removal of excess fat and skin from the abdomen and a repositioning of the belly button or navel. The wall of the tummy is also reinforced and tucked in, which gives the name tummy tuck. This procedure is generally performed in combination with other procedures.
Who & why should one consider tummy tuck surgery/abdominoplasty?
Tummy tuck surgery or abdominoplasty is suitable for individuals who have excess fat or skin apron in the abdomen. Many individuals have bulging tummies, forcing the skin to stretch and push the navel downwards. Individuals who are desirous of getting the loose flab and skin removed, tightened and the navel repositioned can look at tummy tuck surgery or abdominoplasty. This is commonly performed in patients after major weight loss or in women after childbirth.
Benefits of tummy tuck surgery/abdominoplasty
The benefits of tummy tuck surgery or abdominoplasty are many, some of which are outlined
- Navel is repositioned to the right location, from the position it has moved to as a result of skin stretching with flab
- Tummy is tucked in firmly giving a firm appearance, tightening tummy muscles
- Fat and excess skin above and below the navel are removed to give a contoured figure / shape
- In combination with liposuction, contouring is achieved
Preparing for surgery
Preparation for tummy tuck surgery or abdominoplasty should ideally involve the following as it is performed under general anaesthesia
- Abstain from alcohol for a week and smoking for a month prior to the surgery
- Share detailed medical history with specialist prior to procedure
- Be ready to go on painkiller medications after the surgery
- Be prepared to stay away from work for at least two weeks
Usually, a horizontal incision is made in the pubic area. The length of the incision depends on how much skin needs to be removed. The shape will vary depending on the structure of your abdomen and the style of beachwear or underclothes you prefer. If you have loose skin above the navel, you may need a second incision around the navel to remove this excess skin. The position of your navel will remain unchanged. If the skin on your lower abdomen has stretch marks they may be removed. Any remaining stretchmarks may be flattened and improved.
After the treatment& Recovery time
After the tummy tuck surgery or abdominoplasty the following conditions will be experienced
- The need to adopt a stooping posture while walking until tightness feeling subsides in a week or two after the procedure
- The need to wear a pressure support garment or corset during the period of recovery for at least six weeks
- Immediately after the surgery the patient will rest in a position with supporting surgery pillows to relieve the tension in the abdomen.
Risk & precaution to take
The risks associated with tummy tuck surgery or abdominoplasty are minimal; however the following precautions need to be taken
- Be prepared to stay off from regular activity for a period of two months from the date of surgery
- Make arrangements for help at home to take care of routine work if you do not have anyone to help out
- Healing of the wounds requires at least two weeks demanding the wearing of supporting garments
- Have painkillers to handle the minimal and mild pain that may be experienced as a result of the tummy tuck surgery or abdominoplasty
|Operation Time||2 – 2.5 hours|
|Nights in hospital||2|
|Common Risks||common bruising, swelling, temporary numbness, temporary skin irregularity, fluid collection, delayed wound healing,|
|Uncommon Risks||infection, bad scarring, asymmetry, bleeding, permanent numbness, delayed wound healing, skin tags at scar, fat necrosis, skin necrosis|
|Pain and discomfort||7 – 14 days|
|Follow-up after surgery||1 week, 2 weeks, 3 months|
|Time off work||2 – 3 weeks|
|Sports||2 weeks – walking|
|4 weeks – everything except sit ups and swimming|
|12 weeks – everything|
|Result||12 weeks until final result scars continue to improve over 18 months|
What happens at my first consultation?
During your consultation it is very important that you fully discuss the procedure, the risks, the results and the aftercare. Each case is different so an individual consultation including an examination is very important.
What happens after my first consultation?
You will meet with our surgeon to discuss the pros and cons of your procedure. In this consultation it is very important that you feel you have time to adequately explain to your surgeon your aims from tummy tuck surgery. There will a 14 day window for reflection on your consultation before you make the all important decision on whether to go ahead with surgery.
What should I look for when choosing a surgeon?
You should ensure that the surgeon has all the relevant qualifications and accreditation.It is also important to establish just how many procedures the surgeon has carried out. Our surgeon is UK accredited and is a fully-qualified GMC registered Consultant Plastic, Cosmetic Surgeon, he is a member of the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS) in addition to being a member of the British Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons (BAPRAS). Our surgeon is also a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), the Association of Breast Surgery (ABS) and the British Association of Surgical Oncology (BASO). Our surgeon has also been awarded prestigious fellowships including Royal College of Surgeons of England FRCS (Eng), Royal College of Surgeons in Edinburgh (FRCSEd) and a specialist fellowship in Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery. Our lead surgeon is fully trained, qualified and experienced and would be entitled to hold a substantive NHS Consultant Plastic Surgeon post in the NHS As well as the accreditation’s and qualifications it is also important that you develop a good rapport with your surgeon and that they understand fully what you hope to achieve from the operation and also your desired appearance following your tummy tuck surgery.
What does a tummy tuck involve?
Quite simply, tummy tuck surgery removes excess skin and fat. The aim is to tighten the muscles of the abdominal wall, resulting in a flatter abdominal profile. Elite Surgical’s goal is to make your experience as easy and comfortable as possible. You will be given a general anaesthetic so that you’ll be asleep throughout the procedure, and expect to spend one night in hospital. Generally, a horizontal incision is made just within or above the pubic area. The length of the incision depends largely on the amount of skin to be removed. The contour will vary a little according to the structure of your abdomen and the style of beachwear or underclothes you prefer. If you have loose skin above the navel, your surgeon may make a second incision around the navel to remove this excess skin. The position of your navel will remain unchanged. Any skin on the lower abdomen that contains stretch marks may also be removed. Any remaining stretch marks may be flattened and improved.
What are the possible risks associated with tummy tuck surgery?
As with any surgery there are always risks but these will be fully explained by your plastic surgeon in your consultation. Some common risks include bruising, swelling and temporary numbness more uncommon risks can be infection, bad scarring, asymmetry, bleeding and delayed wound healing however complications in this type of surgery are very rare.
Does a Tummy Tuck remove stretch marks?
Stretch marks are scars. They are produced by distension of the skin, but only in situations in which there are various hormones circulating, as in pregnancy and puberty. Those stretch marks located on the lower abdomen will be removed with the extra skin. Those located on the upper abdomen will be shifted downward as the skin is brought downward. The stretch marks that remain are tightened and smoothed out somewhat.
What support can I expect when making the decision to have surgery?
You can expect ongoing support and access to our surgeon if you wish. Our partners The Wright Initiative can also offer psychological support.
What does the procedure involve?
The procedure is done under general anaesthetic and will take about 2 – 2.5 hours. You will usually stay in hospital for 2 nights.
How long does the surgery take?
The surgery usually takes 2 – 2.5 hours
What recovery should I expect?
There will be swelling and bruising after the surgery and you can expect to feel pain and discomfort between 7-14 days. You should take between 2-3 weeks away from work and refrain from running or swimming for up to 6 weeks.
What happens after the surgery?
You will receive follow up appointments with the surgeon after 7 days, 2 weeks and 3 months but if you have any concerns you can meet up with the surgeon as many times as you like free charge.
What results can I expect?
Check out our before and after photos in this section.
Our cost for a Tummy Tuck is from £7,295, when combined with contouring liposuction the cost is from £9,495.
The procedure is usually performed under a general anaesthetic at our specialist clinic and usually involves a one night stay in hospital.
This cost includes all your consultations before surgery and unlimited appointments following your procedure.
For a consultation please complete our contact form or telephone 0800 001 6688