Abdominoplasty (Tummy Tuck)
An abdominoplasty, or ‘tummy tuck’, is a procedure which helps improve the appearance of the abdomen, by removing excess, stretched skin. Through tightening the muscles around the abdomen, a flatter and leaner profile is achieved. This tummy tuck procedure is typically used when the skin doesn't shrink back to normal size after a pregnancy or significant amount of weight loss.
The abdominoplasty I provide in my London surgery is one of my select number of specialities, as it involves various expert techniques which I've adapted over the years. A combination of liposuction and skin tightening techniques are used in the tummy tuck procedure to improve the definition of the abdomen and waist; Each time, I tailor this method to each patient's own physical features, enabling me to fine-tune the tummy tuck and achieve the best possible results.
Visible changes to the body following pregnancy and weight loss - such as stretched skin and excessive sagging tissue on the abdomen - can effect people in many ways. Be it physically, socially or psychologically. Everyday things we don't typically think about, such as finding well-fitting clothes, can suddenly feel very difficult. People may find themselves being restricted in what used to be rather simple activities; Consequently, causing feelings of upset and unattractiveness.
In many cases, the abdominoplasty can solve these problems by giving you a youthful, smoother and flatter abdomen. This is why thousands of people opt for a tummy tuck in the UK every year.
What types of abdominoplasty are there?
There are several variations of abdominoplasty procedures. For example: apronectomy, mini-abdominoplasty; standard abdominoplasty, fleur-de-lis; extended abdominoplasty, lipoabdominoplasty with or without muscle plication; hernia repair and others.
The following factors must be considered when deciding the abdominoplasty techniques that are best for you:
- The amount and distribution of skin excess
- The amount and distribution of fat
- Muscle weakness and hernias
- Desired shape and position of scars
- Desired shape of umbilicus
Am I Suitable for Abdominoplasty?
Abdominoplasty is an excellent option for improving the shape of the abdomen. However, it is not a substitute for weight loss nor can it correct stretch marks. You must fill following criteria in order to receive the surgery:
- Be in good health with no active or serious medical conditions.
- Be a non-smoker, as smoking increases the risk of wound breakdown, infection and delayed healing.
- Your BMI (Body Mass Index) should be 30 or less in order to achieve the best cosmetic outcome, and to reduce the risks of complications.
What Happens at the Tummy Tuck Consultation?
- You'll have the opportunity to raise questions and any concerns you may have regarding the tummy tuck, and we'll explore your exact needs and expectations.
- A detailed examination of your abdomen will be done to reveal your skin quality and distribution of the excess tissue. I will examine you standing up and then laying down, to check for muscle weakness and hernias.
- I will discuss the suitability of the tummy tuck procedure for you, the range of abdominoplasty techniques, the expected outcome, and alternative options.
- If you are a good candidate for tummy tuck surgery, I will discuss the abdominoplasty procedure in more depth, your expected recovery as well as any possible risks that come with the surgery.
What Happens on the Day of Tummy Tuck Surgery?
The nurse and the anaesthetist will go through some questions with you to ensure you’re ready for surgery. Afterwards, I’ll confirm the planned tummy tuck surgery with you and draw some preparatory markings on your skin.
A dose of antibiotic will be given to you to reduce the risk of infection. You’ll also receive a local anaesthetic in your chest during the operation, to numb your deep tissue.
After waking up from surgery, you may feel tightness around the chest. Though, the local anaesthetic will prevent any significant pain. At this point, the wounds will then be covered with dressings.
The tummy tuck procedure can be performed in London as a ‘day-case surgery’, meaning you will be able to go home on the same day, or with a hospital overnight stay.
What is the Tummy Tuck Recovery Process?
You will experience swelling, bruising, and discomfort for the first few days. You should take all the medications as prescribed. The pain is well controlled by taking the painkillers on a regular basis.
It usually takes one to two weeks to get back to day-to-day light activities. It might take up to six weeks to return to full physical activities. You should wear a well-fitted pressure garment and refrain from heavy lifting and physical exercise for 6 weeks after surgery. You must also avoid sit-ups and abdominal muscle exercise for 3 months after surgery.
What Follow-up Do I Get?
The nurse checks your wound 10-14 days after you go home, and I see you in the 6-8 weeks following the tummy tuck surgery to check the healing progress.
The final shape and outcome of the tummy tuck operation is assessed 6-8 months thereafter.
Are There Any Tummy Tuck Alternatives?
That would depend on your aims and expectations, which are measured and discussed during the consultation. Weight reduction by diet and exercise is the best option to get rid of diffused and visceral fat. Liposuction and liposculpture might be a better alternative in those cases where the skin and muscle loosening is minimal. BodyTite™ is a minimally invasive intervention in some mild cases.