A tummy tuck or abdominoplasty is a cosmetic surgery procedure that removes excess skin and fat from the abdomen and tightens the underlying muscle. It is ideally suited to people who have overhanging, loose skin as well as excess fat. A tummy tuck is a costly surgical procedure that can require quite a lengthy recovery time, so it is important to research the procedure thoroughly.
Am I a Candidate? Ideal candidates for tummy tuck surgery are those who have excess skin and fat around the abdomen. Pregnancy, rapid weight loss and yo-yo dieting can all cause the skin around the stomach area to become baggy and loose, making it look flabby and fat even if you are not overweight. As such, a tummy tuck can be a successful way of removing this excess skin to slim the stomach.
Before Surgery – Before surgery, ensure you have a detailed consultation with your cosmetic surgeon to find out the benefits and risks of a tummy tuck procedure. If stubborn fat on the stomach is the problem, rather than an excess of skin, a liposuction procedure may be a better option for delivering the results you desire.
During Surgery – During a tummy tuck operation, a large incision is made across the lower abdomen from hipbone to hipbone and a second incision is made to free the navel from surrounding tissue. The skin is then separated from the abdominal wall all the way up to the ribcage to reveal the abdominal muscles. During treatment, the stomach muscles are pulled, tightened and stitched into position to provide a firmer abdominal wall which provides the foundation for a slimmer waistline. Fatty deposits may be removed, then the skin is then stretched down and the excess skin is snipped off before the tightened skin is stitched into place. Firm elastic bandages are applied post-tummy tuck to support the area. An abdominoplasty usually takes 2-5 hours, depending on the extent of work required, and whether any combined procedures such as liposuction are involved.
Recovery – After a tummy tuck procedure, you will usually require 1-2 days of recovery time in the clinic. An abdominoplasty is a major surgical procedure, so expect to be out of action for a while: it is common to need 3-4 weeks of rest and recovery time.
Benefits – A tummy tuck removes excess fat and skin from around the abdomen to leave the stomach slimmer. It is important to follow a careful diet and exercise program after tummy tuck surgery to maintain the results.
Types – If your fatty deposits are only in the area below the navel, you may require a less complex procedure called a partial abdominoplasty, or ‘mini-tummy tuck’ which is a less extensive version of a tummy tuck. If you have fatty deposits but little excess skin, it may be that liposuction alone would create the best result for you.
Risks and Complications – For the first few days following surgery, the abdomen will feel swollen and tight with some pain and discomfort. Bruising after tummy tuck surgery is usually quite light, but swelling is substantial and it can take several weeks to disappear. Like all surgical procedures, there is a slim possibility of complications or side effects and, although rare, these can include infection, a reaction to the anaesthesia, blood or fluid collection underneath the skin, nerve damage and blood clots. Tummy tuck surgery does produce a permanent scar which will fade over time.
Cost – Tummy Tuck Prices for an abdominoplasty can range from £3,000 to £6,000.