AT A GLANCE
Improved abdominal contouring
Length of surgery:
2 – 3 hours
Up to 6 weeks
What is a tummy tuck?
Tummy tuck surgery, also known as abdominoplasty, is a procedure that can significantly improve the contour of your abdomen. This area of the body is commonly affected by excess skin which can appear to hang down, looking and feeling unattractive and uncomfortable.
Fluctuations in weight or significant changes in body shape due to pregnancy, can alter the appearance of the body. When skin is stretched for long periods of time, it will not shrink back and results in loose skin which hangs. Tummy-tuck surgery not only helps to create a more aesthetically pleasing shape through removal of excess skin, but can also help to firm the abdomen. Tummy-tuck surgery is not a weight loss solution but is something that can be considered at the end of a weight-loss journey. Tummy tuck surgery is a very common procedure that I carry out, with common reasons being:
- Loose skin following pregnancy
- Loose skin following significant weight loss
- Loss of elasticity in the skin over time resulting in wrinkled or hanging skin.
During the initial consultation you will have the opportunity to discuss your concerns as well as explain the look you are hoping to achieve . We will discuss your reasons for wanting to have a tummy tuck and will talk about what the surgery involves, along with the anticipated recovery time.
During the consultation I will need to examine your abdomen to assess the skin and your muscle tone and also to identify any pre-existing scars and / or abdominal conditions (such as hernia) which can affect how your tummy-tuck is carried out. I will take a full medical history from you which involves asking you about your general health.
There are a number of different types of tummy-tuck (mini, full, extended, fleur-de-lis) and I will advise you as to which I think would suit you and your desired outcome. During the consultation I will show you ‘before and after’ photographs of different types of tummy tuck that I have performed and the range of outcomes that can be achieved. The decision to have surgery is an important one and there’s a lot of information to absorb in order to help make that decision. I will always offer a second consultation before surgery goes ahead, so that you have had adequate time to reflect upon our initial consultation and so that we can address any concerns, as well as to go over the details again along with any unanswered questions.
A tummy tuck can be performed using a variety of techniques, all of which will involve the removal of excess skin to a lesser or greater degree. The most appropriate approach will be discussed with you and may be one of the following:
Full abdominoplasty – the most common type of tummy-tuck. This approach removes excess skin from between the belly button and the pubic area and tightens the muscles. During this procedure the belly button is also repositioned.
Extended or fleur de lis abdominoplasty – in this type of tummy tuck, the amount of skin removed is more than for a full abdominoplasty and is usually only suitable for those patients who have lost a lot of weight and are left with significant amounts of excess skin in the upper and lower abdomen. In this procedure, a vertical scar is also introduced.
Mini tummy tuck surgery- This is only suited for those who have a minimal amount of excess skin. During the procedure this excess skin is removed but there is no need to reposition the belly button. The surgery takes approximately one hour and can be carried out under local or general anaesthetic.
With all types of tummy-tuck, liposuction can also be used as an additional procedure to help contour the abdomen and create definition.
AFTERCARE & RESULTS
Before you go home, you will be given information about the ‘do’s and don’t’s’ in the first few days and weeks following surgery. Myself and my nursing staff are always available to address any concerns and your recovery will be closely monitored through a series of follow-up appointments, typically made at 1 week, 6 weeks, 3 months and 1 year after surgery.
Following surgery you can expect the stomach area to feel a bit tender with swelling and bruising lasting for a few weeks. Aftercare advice and wearing a post-surgical garment will help you to manage the discomfort and help to speed up your recovery.
It is expected that you will be up and about from the first day of your surgery, but it can take a few weeks before you are fully back to your usual everyday routines and activities. It is likely that you will need to take some time off work and to gradually increase your activity levels until your body feels comfortable to move around more easily. Although you will see an immediate result following surgery, the final outcome may not be visible for several weeks as the swelling takes time to resolve.
No surgical procedure is without potential side-effects and risk, however the risk associated with breast augmentation surgery is very low in the majority of patients and my aim is always to keep every procedure as safe as possible, A great deal has been in the media over the years, in particular with respect to silicone breast implants and I will be able to discuss this with you in detail during the consultation and give you information to take away with you to read in your own time.
Am I suitable for tummy tuck surgery?
Abdominoplasty is a surgical procedure that removes excess skin and tissue from the abdomen. The procedure can give the stomach a flatter, more toned appearance as the skin and / or muscles are tightened. The operation is requested by many women and men who find they have loose skin around the abdomen, due to significant weight loss (as well as from pregnancy) that has left the skin unable to shrink back and accommodate the new body shape. I will determine your suitability through a comprehensive consultation that takes into account your personal concerns, the look you are wishing to achieve and the condition of your overall health. It is important to understand that tummy tuck surgery should not be used to substitute a healthy lifestyle and is not an effective weight loss solution.
Is tummy tuck surgery safe?
No surgery is without some element of risk but above all else is your safety and wellbeing. I am a highly experienced plastic surgeon who has performed many successful tummy tuck operations. I work in only the most reputable hospitals, alongside highly trained staff. You and your safety are the central focus of attention in your patient journey and every effort is made to make it as safe, comfortable and stress-free as possible.
Will it hurt?
The operation will be carried out while you are fully asleep, under a general anaesthetic. During the procedure you are given pain relief which means that when you wake up you should feel comfortable and not in pain. Although some discomfort is common, most people are surprised about how little discomfort they actually feel. When you wake up from surgery you will be wearing a special post-surgery garment or binder. This helps support your tummy as you are healing and make it feel more comfortable. You will be given appropriate aftercare advice to help you manage any discomfort, along with a suitable course of pain relief.
Are there any side effects or risks?
Everyone reacts differently to surgery, recovering at varying rates. It is normal for patients to experience swelling and bruising on the abdomen, which may take several weeks to completely disappear. Incisions made will inevitably form a scar however, scarring, although never completely disappearing will generally fade well over time. I will be able to advise you on the best way to manage your scar in order to achieve the best outcome. Other potential side effects or complications include delayed healing, fluid collection and infection. These effects are uncommon and will be discussed in detail during your consultation.
How much downtime can I expect?
It is expected that you will be up and walking around from day 1 after surgery and that activity levels will gradually increase. Most people who have tummy-tuck surgery can be back at work by 2 weeks, but it can take longer if your work is physical or involves heavy lifting. It is expected that by 12 weeks you will be back to all of your normal activities.
Some examples of Abdominoplasty/Tummy Tuck.
Please see below some of my patients who have had Breast Reduction at my Harley Street Clinic in London.